Following an invitation from the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina and following a needs assessment mission carried out from 30 June to 2 July 2010, ODIHR deployed an election observation mission on 26 August for the 3 October general elections.
Headed by Ambassador Daan Everts of the Netherlands, the mission consisted of a 15-member core team, based in Sarajevo, and 20 long-term observers throughout the country. Core team members and long-term observers were drawn from 20 OSCE participating States.
For election-day observation, the ODIHR mission joined efforts with observer delegations from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A total of 307 short-term observers were deployed on election day.
According to the mission's final report: "The 2010 elections ... were generally conducted in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitments, but certain key areas require further action. While the legal framework provides a satisfactory basis for the conduct of democratic elections overall, it contains ethnicity-based limitations to the right to stand. This is in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights and a legally binding decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as well as OSCE commitments.
"The [Central Election Commission (CEC)] functioned efficiently and enjoyed the general confidence of electoral stakeholders. It undertook a project to improve its software platform, including tabulating and reporting election results. Municipal Election Commissions (MECs) were generally well organized, but at times their work was affected by insufficient funding and inadequate office space. The appointment of Polling Station Commissions (PSCs) was marred by political contestants trading seats in PSCs. For the first time, the CEC prepared training manuals for PSCs. Nevertheless, on election day, a number of PSCs had difficulties in properly following complex and lengthy electoral procedures, especially related to opening and counting."