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Several NGOs request that Central Electoral Bureau meetings be made public

BEC
BEC Biroul Electoral Central

Several non-governmental organizations request that the Central Electoral Bureau for the December 6 parliamentary elections hold public meetings, with the access of observers, and to broadcast them online, taking into account health protection rules and compliance with personal data protection regulations.

"Taking into account certain ambiguities generated in the public space by the lack of dialogue of the Central Electoral Bureau set up for local elections, we consider the widest possible communication to the public as a key factor that can lead to increased confidence in the electoral process and a stronger understanding of certain of its stages," reads a press release sent to AGERPRES on Monday by Expert Forum.

In a letter sent to the president of the Central Electoral Bureau for the election of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, it is explained that for the December 6 election, BEC meetings can also be held by electronic means in video-conferencing system, according to Decision no. 1 / 09.12.2020.

"We believe that the measure of their publication does not create technical difficulties or additional costs and can provide a risk-free information tool for external stakeholders who want to follow the activity of the BEC. We consider that this good practice, which is already applied by the central electoral commissions in several countries - such as Serbia, the Republic of Moldova, Lithuania and North Macedonia - would contribute to the transparency of the electoral administration's activity," the letter states.

According to the signatory organizations, these principles are also found in the Venice Commission's Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters, which states that "the meetings of the Central Electoral Commission must be open to all, including the media."

"The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has reiterated in several observation reports the need to open a meeting of electoral bodies to the public. For example, the latest ODIHR report, from 2019, recommends: "To increase transparency, meetings of the electoral bodies should be open to the public. Decisions and minutes of their meetings should be published in a timely and consistent manner." A similar recommendation has existed since the 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections: "It must be borne in mind that the level of transparency increases if the internal observers' organizations have the right to participate in polling station meetings at all levels, including the BEC," the letter said.

The non-governmental organizations that sign the letter are: ActiveWatch, GHEPart Development Association, The Center for Public Innovation, Code for Romania, Geeks for Democracy, Expert Forum, #RESISTENCE, Maria Krause, Observatorul Electoral, Mircea Kivu, sociologist.

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