Early parliamentary elections, which are taking place this year under very specific circumstances, are a challenge for everyone. As never before, in conditions that will ensure the protection of the health of citizens, it is important for all stakeholders to show maturity, institutions to conduct fair and democratic elections and thus prevent any abuse of the electoral process. It is another step towards the goal – meeting the conditions for smooth progress in negotiations with the European Union.
It is extremely important for the institutions to ensure that the citizens exercise their right to vote in conditions that will guarantee the protection of their health. In conditions of an epidemic, we expect the political parties to refrain from organizing events that are contrary to the measures for the protection of citizens’ health.
We appeal to the political parties, in the upcoming election campaigns, to refrain from hate speech and discrimination on any grounds, but also from creating an atmosphere of intolerance, mistrust and polarization. At the same time, we call on political parties to demonstrate their capacity for democratic governance, but also their sense of responsibility for the country’s future, and to refrain from using and spreading fake news.
In order to ensure democratic elections, and in anticipation of the start of negotiations with the European Union, we expect that the election campaign will not be used to discredit the work of civil society, which acts only in the interest of citizens with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for all, especially for those who live in the margins of society.
In this context, we urge political parties in the election programs, but also after the elections, given the multiculturalism and multiethnicity of our country, to commit to the values of an open society and to:
- create and implement policies that will overcome structural differences that are the cause of inequality, providing equal opportunities for all citizens;
- create and implement policies to address growing discrimination in the country;
- create conditions in which citizens, especially the marginalized ones, will have the opportunity to exercise their rights;
- create sustainable models for the continuous and substantial participation of civil society in the creation and implementation of relevant policies.
We encourage political parties through their campaigns to actively contribute to creating an atmosphere of solidarity and support that we so desperately need in the coming period of health, economic and social coping with the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic.
—————————————————23 June 2020