Electoral system to be amended by introduction of preferential voting

foto: PR centar

Podgorica, (MINA) – Introduction of preferential voting would increase the influence of the voters to elections of particular candidates and strengthen the connection between the citizens and their representatives, said CEMI Steering Committee President Zlatko Vujovic.

At the conference “Let Fair Elections Become a Habit! – Building Trust in the Integrity of the Electoral Process in Montenegro”, he said that the party-list proportional system, with closed and blocked lists of candidates is not a good model.

Vujovic explained that the party list system has been used a lot, but that closed and blocked candidate lists are used only in Spain and Portugal, except for Montenegro.

He believes that the existing electoral system must be changed by introduction of the possibility that a voter, by using five preferential votes, elect candidates within the same candidate list.

He added that it is possible to achieve reform of the electoral legislation in Montenegro by certain corrections which are easy to be done.

Vujovic asked why there was so much resistance against introduction of the preferential vote. “Some would say that Montenegro is not ready, but Kosovo is already using that model”, said he.

He said that equality of the Roma community should be provided, since they have no right to seats gained through affirmative action, compared to the members of other minority communities with similar share in the population.

“It is necessary to provide consistent implementation of the legal requirement for following the provisions regarding representation of the women in the electoral tickets and restrict accepting electoral tickets which do not respect those provisions”, said Vujovic.

Parliament Speaker Ivan Brajovic emphasized that work on improving of electoral ambience is a continuous process and that current electoral legislation is a product of agreement between the government and the opposition.

He reiterated that late last year the Committee for Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation was formed, in which the government, the opposition, NGOs and the academic community representatives took part.

Brajovic explained that the opposition left the Committee, and that the Committee continues preparing daft amendments to the laws they have been discussing.

“By refusing to participate in the Committee’s work, improvement of electoral legislation is only being postponed, and the ruling coalition cannot be held responsible for that”, said Brajovic.

Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav said that the level of confidence in the electoral framework is still low and that ODIHR recommendations are still ongoing.

He said that the Committee’s agenda is ambitious, and that it a great opportunity, but also responsibility for all political actors to improve electoral legislation.

Orav said that the State Electoral Commission (DIK) should take proactive stance and increase its administrative and technical capacities.

He also remarked that they have great expectations from the Anti-Corruption Agency in terms of monitoring finances of political parties. Longer version of article is available on a link MINA ENGLISH SERVIS