KLI reacts to violation of the law by the CEC, requires the removal of certified candidates who have final convicting verdicts and invites the State Prosecutor to investigate the CEC decision-making.

Sunday 10 September, 2017

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Pristina, 10 September 2017 – The Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) reacts to the Central Election Commission (CEC), which has violated the law by certifying candidates with a criminal past, respectively with final court sentences, who compete for assemblies and mayors in the local elections of 22 October 2017.

The KLI estimates that the CEC decision to certify candidates with criminal past in the last three years, contrary to the Law on Local Elections in Kosovo is a scandal, which invites the State Prosecutor to investigate the decision-making of the CEC, which, despite official data from the KJC for candidates with criminal past, has done their certification or has not taken any action in accordance with the law to clear lists of candidates for assembly or mayor of municipalities, who, according to the law, are denied the right to run in municipal elections scheduled on 22 October, 2017.

Such a violation of the law so transparently cannot leave indifferent to the State Prosecutor, who has a constitutional and legal mandate to investigate and prosecute these actions.

This decision of the CEC proves the lack of political will of political parties, which through their representatives constitute the CEC body to respect legal criteria, aiming to introduce candidates with criminal past in violation of the law.

Based on the official data there are over 7,000 candidates for whom the CEC has requested data on their criminal past in the Basic Courts of the Republic and there are over 600 candidates who have final convicting verdicts or are in criminal proceedings.

The KLI requires from the CEC that, in accordance with positive legislation, the removal of all candidates for assembly and candidates for Mayor of Municipalities that have final convicting verdicts for criminal offenses.

In this regard, KLI has received complaints from candidates, who dispute the accuracy of KJC data, and therefore requests from the KJC to verify the data of final judicial decisions from the Basic Courts to be accurate and to limit the rights of candidates with final verdicts in accordance with the Law on Local Elections in Kosovo.

KLI expresses frustration with the political parties, which are giving a bad message in the case of the nomination of persons with final convicting verdicts in violation of the law, but also in the case of the nomination of persons, who at this stage are facing judicial processes for various criminal offenses. The KLI expresses concern about the integrity of the candidates for assembly in these local elections and the political parties competing in these elections.

This is because despite the fact that the candidates were obliged to sign the statement on the candidate’s certification form confirming that the same do not have any obstacles that would make it impossible to appear as a candidate based on article 29 of the Law on General Elections in the Republic of Kosovo, where it is also stipulated that they will not be sentenced by a final judgment in the last three years. The Law on General Elections in the Republic of Kosovo applies appropriately also for local elections in Kosovo.

KJC data have proved the opposite in hundreds of cases. This proves that these candidates with criminal past, through false information have tried to mislead the CEC, suspected of having committed the criminal offense False statement under oath, sanctioned under the Criminal Code of Kosovo.

In this regard, the KLI requires urgent response of the institutions called by the law, in this case by the CEC, the State Prosecutor and the KJC, to take consistent actions within their constitutional and legal scope.

The KLI invites political parties to set an example in terms of offering candidates as for assemblies, as for mayor of municipalities, who have no problems with the law, including their confrontation with court proceedings, without prejudice to their guilty plea. Only in this way, the political parties will send a message that through offering clean candidates and offering programs are interested and committed to good governance.