International observers of the local elections held on Sunday have issued preliminary statements on the difficulties they discovered while on the ground.
Stewart Dickson, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, a Council of Europe entity, identified the fundamental problem with these elections as the lack of priority given to the locality.
While underlining that the mission he leads has been present at polling and voting locations and has interacted with candidates and political representatives, Dickson stated that the election day was overall calm and transparent.
Stewart Dickson, however, stated that several of the issues mentioned by “The Congress” remain unaddressed: low participation of women in both competition and election administration, and a lack of accessibility for individuals with impairments.
Dickson also cited the problems and delays created by technological failures during the identification or voting process.
“These issues must be prioritized in order to increase voter confidence.”
In addition to election administration, international observers are concerned about the low level of participation in these elections, as well as the lack of local programs aimed at citizens. “We regret that local issues were overshadowed by a polarized campaign, primarily led by national party leaders.” Let me highlight that local elections are for citizens to pick their priorities for local concerns through their ballots, which was unfortunately not the case in recent elections.”