TALLINN - Foreign observers who observed the Riigikogu elections in Estonia on March 6 estimated that voting took place in line with regulations, but there were several shortcomings too, reports National Broadcasting. Members of the observers’ mission said that the entire procedure was generally well organized during the voting and staff of polling stations observed all procedures in line with laws. They pointed out the ‘high election culture’ and good knowledge voters had of procedures.
At the same time, they pointed out that procedural rules, while counting votes, were not always followed: polling slips that were not used during the day were not cancelled but were preserved till the counting of votes ended. Counting of votes was not transparent in all election districts and in some cases, figures did not match; there were cases when several election slips were missing when the voting results protocol was written.
Also, few observers could see figures written into protocols and there were differences in how protocols were sent to the Elections Committee. “Not sticking to procedural rules created serious doubts in the correctness of voting results of some observed polling stations,” the observers noted.
There were also cases that the polling booth was not wide enough, or not covered fully, and it wasn’t always easy to tell apart observers and other concerned people since only election committee members had nametags; in some cases observers were not asked for documents.
Still, voting took place in a professional and calm way and in line with national and international standards.
The observer mission included 28 observers from Belarus, Sweden and Lithuania and they visited 135 polling stations. The project was carried out by three organizations: Belarus Watch, European Humanities University and Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius (HRH).