THE POSITION of the candidate on the ballot during the election for the President of Serbia will no longer be determined by lot. Instead of drawing numbers from the drum, the rule will be that the number will be obtained according to the order of announcing the electoral list, which is already applied when voting for deputies and councilors.
This is just one of the novelties envisaged by the Draft Law on the Election of the President, and that act is part of the package which also includes regulations on the election of people’s deputies and local elections, and which was prepared by the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government. Practically, everything that was agreed in the inter-party dialogue between the government and the opposition on improving the election conditions has now been translated into legal texts.
If the provision on the abolition of the draw is adopted, it would enable the participants in the elections on April 3 to “shoot” the same ordinal numbers on the ballots with the names of the presidential candidates and those with the list for the new Serbian Parliament and those for the Belgrade Parliament. All this under the condition that they submit the necessary documentation for all elections at the same time, and that the papers are valid.
The novelty is that the provision in all three laws is changed, which stipulates that only able-bodied citizens can have the right to vote.
– According to the proposed solution, an adult who is partially legally capable also has the right to vote if the court has not explicitly determined that he is incapable of exercising the right to vote. In this way, partial deprivation of legal capacity, in itself, does not lead to the loss of the right to vote. Thus, all restrictions on the right to vote based on intellectual disabilities and psychosocial disability are removed, and Serbian legislation is harmonized with the goals of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – it is stated in the explanation.
It was “inserted” in the drafts that the number of members of the Republic Election Commission will increase by six and that there will be non-parliamentary parties in that body, and there will be more seats in the polling stations. Also, it is envisaged that in the next elections, strict attention will be paid to whether the number of ballots in the box “coincides” with the number of voters, as well as whether the situation is identical to the minutes. If the mistakes are more serious and cannot be corrected immediately, as provided by the draft law, voting at the polling station may be repeated. In addition to the obligatory control of the minutes of the polling station committee, the possibility is introduced for someone from the opposition electoral lists to request a random check of five percent of the polling stations on the territory of the municipality or city.
The institute of renouncing the mandate is also being introduced, which means that the candidate, before the REC makes a decision on the distribution of seats in the parliament, can submit a certified irrevocable written statement to renounce the mandate of the MP, and get the first one on the list. If an MP resigns during the convocation, the REC has up to seven days to fill his seat.
It is also planned to reduce the number of signatures for the candidacy of the minority electoral list from 10,000 to 5,000. At the local level, the minimum number of initials is 200, and the maximum is 3,000, depending on the number of voters, and minority parties should submit half as many.
A public debate is open on all proposed legal solutions until December 13, after which it will be known what will remain in the final text.
POSSIBILITY OF APPEAL IN 25 COURTS
The DEADLINE for the decision of the Administrative Court on a possible election irregularity is 48 hours from the receipt of the appeal with the case file. When it comes to local elections, by transferring jurisdiction from one Administrative Court with three regional divisions – to 25 higher courts, the protection of the right to vote should be more efficient. The draft law on local elections stipulates that they can be called no earlier than 120 days before the expiration of the mandate of councilors.
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