ODIHR conducted a NAM from 26 to 28 June 2012 to assess the pre-election environment and the preparations for the parliamentary elections and in order to recommend whether to deploy an OSCE/ODIHR election-related activity for the forthcoming election, and if so, what type of activity best meets the identified needs. The NAM recommended the deployment of an assessment mission.
The mission, headed by Ambassador Rolf Ekéus, began work on 2 October. The EAM includes six international staff, drawn from five OSCE participating States.
The mission will assess the election process in terms of its compliance with OSCE commitments and international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation. Observers will, in particular, look into aspects related to the new campaign finance regulations and their application, the media access for candidates, the participation of persons belonging to national minorities in elections, the criminalisation of speech offences, and the right to equal voting power.
In line with ODIHR’s methodology for assessment missions, the mission will not carry out systematic or comprehensive observation of the voting, counting and tabulation on election day. Mission members will, however, visit a small number of polling stations across the country to follow election day procedures.
The mission, which will remain in Lithuania until 19 October, will issue a report approximately two months after the completion of the election process.
OSCE/ODIHR has previously assessed parliamentary elections in Lithuania in 1996. It has also deployed an expert team to Vilnius in connection with the 2009 elections to the European Parliament.