OSCE Prepares for Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2,600 international supervisors are being deployed at 2,270 polling stations all around the country. Final voter registers are being prepared. It is estimated that the number of people eligible to vote will be approximately 2.5 million. Out-of-country voting, managed by the International Organization for Migration, began on 10 August for approximately 154,000 registered refugee voters.
Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE institution mandated to monitor elections, has deployed 12 long-term observers throughout the country. They will be joined by 150 short-term observers as well as observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Senator Tana De Zulueta of Italy, has been appointed the Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Senator De Zulueta will lead the OSCE short-term election observation mission and issue the preliminary post-election statement for the OSCE, in conjunction with the ODIHR On-Site Co-ordinator, Mr. Mark Power-Stevens.
During the weeks leading up to the elections, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina has been busily engaged in activities promoting a fair and democratic election process, such as disseminating information to voters; supporting the campaigns of political parties; ensuring fair and equitable access for political parties to media throughout the country; informing the Media Experts Commission on media behaviour; and fostering inter-ethnic understanding especially between returning refugees/displaced persons and the resident population.