SKOPJE, 6 May 2011 - The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today formally opened an election observation mission in Skopje to monitor the 5 June early parliamentary elections.
The mission, headed by Julian Peel Yates, was established following an invitation from the government. It consists of 12 international experts based in Skopje and 20 long-term observers who will be deployed throughout the country next week.
In addition, ODIHR recommended that OSCE participating States provide 300 short-term observers, who will arrive several days before election day. They will observe the opening of polling stations, voting, counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.
The mission will assess the elections for their compliance with principles for democratic electoral processes, including commitments agreed to by all OSCE participating States, as well as national legislation.
Observers will analyse election-related legislation and will closely monitor campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant governmental bodies, the implementation of relevant legislation, the media environment and the resolution of election-related disputes.
The ODIHR election observation mission will join efforts with the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other parliamentary delegations. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office has appointed Robert Batelli as Special Co-ordinator to lead the OSCE short-term observer mission.
A statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be issued on the day after the elections. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued about eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.
The ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the OSCE Mission to Skopje operate separately under their specific mandates.