OSCE/ODIHR final report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s presidential and early parliamentary elections notes respect for fundamental freedoms, points to inadequate separation between party and state activities
Greater efforts to ensure a separation between party and state activities, as well as to investigate allegations of intimidation were among the recommendations contained in the final report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the presidential and early parliamentary elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The report, published on 15 July 2014, notes that the elections were efficiently administered, that candidates campaigned without obstruction and freedoms of assembly and association were respected. It also states that a number of Electoral Code provisions amended in January 2014 addressed some prior OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. However, inconsistencies and ambiguities, including a lack of clarity in the definition of campaigning, the length of the campaign, and the misuse of state resources during the campaign, remained.
Noting credible reports of cases of voter intimidation, the report encourages authorities to investigate and prosecute instances and allegations of pressure and intimidation. It recommends that investigation of electoral offences by police and prosecutors should be carried out in an unbiased and timely fashion to ensure a due process.
The report also recommends lifting the residency requirement to be a presidential candidate, and reviewing the current system of allocation of mandates in out-of-country electoral constituencies.
Other recommendations include a review of complaints and appeals procedures and the establishment of a clear division of responsibilities between different institutions related to challenges to voter lists.