Local Self-Government Act

I. General Provisions

 

 

Article 120

Municipal assembly councillors (hereinafter referred to as councillors) are appointed following the procedure and in the manner determined by this act, the municipal statutes and other municipal legal documents.

Article 121

Councillors are appointed for a four year term of office.

Local self-government election must be held at least thiry (30) days before the term of office of previously elected councillors has expired.

During the state of war, the municipal assembly may prolong the councillors' term of office as long as there is the state of war, or until conditions necessary for the election of councillors to be held have been fulfilled.

Article 122

A citizen of Serbia, who is a Yugoslav citizen and has come of age, has the business capacity and is a permanent resident of the constituency in the municipality where he exercises his electoral rights shall have the right to elect councillors.

A citizen of Serbia, who is a Yugoslav citizen and has come of age, has the business capacity and has been a permanent resident on the territory of the municipality where he has been nominated as a candidate for a councillor for at least six months prior to the date of calling for the election of councillors shall have the right to be elected a councillor.

Article 123

Citizens select their councillors on the basis of their free, universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

No one has the right on any grounds to take a citizen to account for voting, or ask him/her who he/she has voted for of why he/she has not voted, or prevent him/her from voting.

Article 124

Councillors are selected in constituencies determined by the decision of municipal assemblies.

Constituencies are determined in such a way so as to have approximately identical number of voters per a councillor in each constituency.

Exceptionally of the provision stated in Para. 2 of this Article, in the mountainous regions, there may be constituencies where a councillor is selected by a smaller number of voters in comparison to other constituencies.

One councillor is elected in any single constituency.

Article 125

A person already holding office of a representative may also be appointed a councillor.

Employment with local administration is incompatible with the position of a municipal assembly councillor.

Employment with local administration is at a standstill once that person's mandate as councillor has been confirmed.

The incompatibility of the function of a councillor with other functions, professions, or professional duties is subject to limitations defined for representatives.

Article 126

The election of councillors is called for by the Speaker of the Republican Parliament.

No less than forty-five (45) and no more than ninety (90) days shall pass between the day of calling for the election and the polling day.

The Republican Parliament may decide at the proposal by the Government to call for early election of councillors in either some or all of the municipalities of the Republic.

The decision on calling for the election shall specify the date of the election as well as the day when all the terms fixed for the administration of electoral procedures start from.

The decision to call for the election shall be publicised in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia".

2. Election Administration Bodies

Article 127

Election administration bodies are municipal election commission and polling boards.

Election administration bodies shall be independent and autonomous in their work and shall act in accordance with the act and regulations passed in compliance with this act.

Election administration bodies are accountable for their work to the body that has appointed them.

All bodies and organisations are obliged to offer assistance to election administration bodies and submit them the data they need in their work.

Article 128

Appointed to the post of election administration body members and their deputies may be only citizens having suffrage an permanent residence on the territory of the municipality.

The office of members of election administration bodies and their deputies shall terminated on the date of their acceptance of nomination for a councillor.

Article 129

The municipal election commission shall operate in permanent and extended composition.

The municipal election commission shall operate in extended composition as from the date its composition is determined until the end of election.

The municipal election commission shall make decisions by the majority of votes in either its permanent or extended position.

Article 130

The municipal election commission in its permanent composition shall consist of the chairman and at least four members appointed by the local council, and in its extended composition also of one representative of the nominator of the candidate that has nominated candidates for councillors in no fewer than two thirds of constituencies in the municipality.

The municipal election commission shall have a secretary appointed by the local assembly. The secretary shall take part in the work of the commission with no right to decision making participation.

The chairman, other municipal election commission members and its secretary shall have their deputies.

The chairman, chairman deputy and secretary of municipal election commission shall be selected from the rank of graduated lawyers.

The municipal election commission shall pass the decision specifying what nominators of candidates have fulfilled the requirements to appoint their representatives to the extended composition of this body within forty-eight (48) hours from the hour the list of candidates for all constituencies was proclaimed.

The candidate's nominator shall appoint his representative to the municipal election commission within twenty-four (24) hours following the forwarding of the decision referred to in Para. 5 of this Article and loses his right to appoint one upon expiry of the term stated herein.

The municipal election commission shall determine the extended composition within twenty-four (24) hours following the expiry of the term referred to in Para. 6 of this Article.

Article 131

The municipal election commission shall:

  1. see that the election of councillors is legally conducted;
  2. determine polling stations, taking great care to ensure even distribution of voters in polling stations and their accessibility;
  3. determine polling boards and appoint their members;
  4. give instructions to polling boards regarding the administration of local election;
  5. prescribe the forms and do the logistics for the administration of local election;
  6. determine whether the candidates' nominations have been made and composed in compliance with the provisions regulating the election of councillors;
  7. determine and publicise the lists of candidates for all constituencies;
  8. establish the number of ballot papers for all polling stations and delivers them to polling boards accompanied by the record on the said number;
  9. establish the voting results in the constituency and the number of votes for each individual candidate;
  10. establish and publicise the overall results of the election of councillors;
  11. submits the report to the local assembly on the administration of local election;
  12. submits to the republican body in charge of statistics the data on the administration and results of the local election immediately after the election is ended;
  13. perform other activities provided for by provisions on the election of councillors.

In its work the municipal election commission shall implement the instructions and other provisions of the republican election commission regulating the administration of the election of representatives to the republican parliament.

Article 132

The polling board shall work in its permanent and extended composition.

In its permanent composition the polling board consists of the chairman and at least two members.

The appointment of extended membership of the polling board is subject to the provisions of this act regarding the municipal election commission in extended composition on condition that the nominator of the candidate fulfilling the conditions to have a representative in the municipal election commission in its extended composition has nominated his candidate in the constituency where the polling board is appointed.

The polling board chairman and members shall each have a deputy.

The polling board shall be appointed not later than ten (10) days prior to the election day.

The nominator of the candidate who has no representative in the polling board may appoint a person to monitor the work of the polling board.

In the event that both the local election and the election of federal representatives to the Citizens' Council, the Federal Parliament or the election of representatives to the Republican Parliament or the President of the Republic are held on the same day, the function of polling boards for the election of councillors shall be performed by polling boards appointed by the competent bodies in charge of administering the election of representatives to the Republican or Federal Parliaments or the President of the Republic.

Article 133

The polling board shall be in charge of direct administering of voting, ensure the regularity and secrecy of voting, establish the results of voting at the polling station and perform other activities as specified by this act.

The polling board shall be in charge of keeping order at the polling station during voting.

More detailed rules on the work of the polling board shall be set out by the municipal election commission.

III. Candidacy and lists of candidates

 

Article 134

Candidates for councillors may be nominated, either individually or collectively, by registered political parties and other political organisations (hereinafter referred to as "political parties") that are supported by signatures of not fewer than thirty (30) voters in a constituency.

Candidates for councillors may also be nominated by a group of not fewer than thirty (30) citizens - voters in a constituency.

Each voter can sign the nomination for only one candidate within a single constituency.

Had the voter signed the nomination for several nominated candidates, the signature put on the nomination that has been submitted first to the municipal election commission shall be deemed valid.

One person can be nominated a candidate on only one electoral list and in only one constituency.

Article 135

The nomination for the candidate shall be submitted to the municipal election commission on a special form containing the following information:

  1. name of nominator;
  2. indication of the constituency the candidate is nominated for; and
  3. surname and name of candidate.

If a candidate is nominated jointly by two or more political parties, the indication of nominator shall be in the form of either the names of all of the said political parties or the name that the nominators have chosen together.

If a candidate is nominated by a group of citizens, the indication of nominator shall include the note that it is the group of citizens, the nominator being entitled however to use another, more specific name.

The nomination of a candidate shall be submitted to the municipal election commission not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the election day.

The nomination of a candidate shall be submitted to the municipal election commission together with the following documents:

  1. certificate of suffrage for each candidate specifying the name and surname, date of birth, profession and candidate's personal identification number;
  2. written declaration of the candidate's acceptance of candidacy;
  3. certificate of candidate's permanent residence;
  4. certificate of candidate's citizenship;
  5. signatures of the required number of voters that is prescribed by this act as a condition for nomination of a candidate in a form the content of which shall be prescribed by the municipal election commission.

The municipal election commission shall prescribe the form for the collection of signatures of required number of voters.

Article 136

The municipal election commission shall immediately establish, within twenty-four (24) hours at the latest of the receipt of nominations for candidates for councillors together with required documentation, whether the nomination has been made within the prescribed term and in conformity with the provisions of this act.

If the municipal election commission finds the nomination deficient in any way, it shall immediately, within twenty-four (24) hours at the latest, pass the decision obliging the nominator to remove the deficiency he has been pointed to in the decision within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the decision.

If the nominator fails to act in accordance with the provision referred to in Para. 2 of this Article, or if the candidate's nomination has not been filed in time, the municipal election commission shall reject that nomination by the resolution within twenty-four (24) hours.

Article 137

When the municipal election commission establishes that a candidacy has been filed in time and has been made in accordance with the rules, or that the deficiencies have been removed within the prescribed period of time, it shall confirm such nomination by its resolution not later than twenty-four (24) hours of the date of its receipt, or of the removal of deficiency.

The resolution on confirming the nominations shall be immediately submitted to the nominator by the municipal election commission.

Article 138

Within five (5) days of the expiry of term for filing nominations of candidates at the latest, the municipal election commission shall compose for each constituency the lists of candidates that shall include all the candidates who have been nominated in accordance with the provisions of this act.

The names of candidates in the lists for each constituency shall be given in alphabetical order.

The list of candidates for a constituency must contain the name of the nominator together with the candidate's name.

Article 139

The municipal election commission shall publicise the lists of candidates on the day following their determination at the latest.

Each nominator of a candidate is entitled to the insight into all the nominations and documentation filed with them within forty-eight (48) hours of the day the candidates' list was publicised.

Article 140

Each candidate may give up his/her candidacy not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the election day. Giving up a candidacy shall be stated in writing to the municipal election commission.

In the event of a candidate giving up his/her candidacy, his/her death or his/her loss of suffrage, the nominator may file a new candidacy not later than ten (10) days prior to the election day.

The nominator of a candidate may withdraw the candidacy not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the election day.

Article 141

Citizens have the right to be informed of all the candidates.

IV Administration of election

Article 142

The municipal election commission to prepare in time for each and every polling board the material for voting, especially the number of ballot papers required, the extract from the register of electors, certificates of suffrage, special official envelopes for voting as well as the form for keeping records on the work of the polling board.

Delivery of the electoral material stated herein shall be performed not later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the election day.

Article 143

Voting for the election of councillors is performed in polling stations.

Voting is carried out on ballot papers that are prepared and certified by the municipal election commission.

A ballot paper shall contain the following:

  1. remark stating that one is voting for the election of councillors;
  2. name of the municipality and an indication of the constituency;
  3. ordinal number put before the name of the candidate;
  4. name and surname of a candidate, according to the order determined in the list of candidates, together with the indication of the nominator. Next to the name and surname, additional marks of the candidate may also placed, in accordance with the decision of the municipal election commission; and
  5. remark stating that electors are to cast vote for one candidate only by circling the number before a candidate's name.

Article 144

A voter may cast his/her vote for any candidate in the ballot paper.

A voter shall cast his/her vote for one candidate only.

One votes by circling the ordinal number before the name of the candidate he/she is voting for.

V Establishing and announcing election results

Article 145

The results of the election in the constituency shall be determined by the municipal election commission on the basis of the results in all respective polling stations within a constituency and makes a record on these data on a special form.

The polling board is obliged to forward to the municipal election commission the records and electoral material from the polling station within eighteen (18) hours of closing the polling station at the latest.

Upon the receipt of the election material from polling stations, the municipal election commission shall establish the following within forty-eight (48) hours: the total number of electors entered in the register of electors, the number of electors who have voted in respective polling stations; the number of electors who have voted by post; the total number of ballot papers received in polling stations; the total number of unmarked ballot papers; the total number of invalid ballot papers; the total number of valid ballot papers and the number of votes for each individual candidate.

Article 146

If two or more candidates within a constituency have won an equal and, at the same time, the maximum number of votes, the voting in that constituency shall be repeated within fifteen (15) days of the day results were established.

In the repeated election electors shall vote only for those candidates who have won an equal and maximum number of votes.

In the repeated election the candidate winning the largest number of votes shall be deemed elected.

If several candidates in the repeated election win an equal and maximum number of votes, voting shall be repeated within eight (8) days of the date the results were established until one of the candidates wins the largest number of votes.

Article 148

On the basis of the established results of the election of councillors in constituencies, the municipal election commission shall determined the overall results for councillors to municipal assemblies.

Immediately after overall results of the election of councillors have been established, the municipal election commission shall publicise the data on the following:

  1. number of electors entered into the register of electors;
  2. number of electors having voted in a polling station;
  3. number of electors having voted out of the polling station;
  4. total number of electors who have voted;
  5. number of received ballot papers;
  6. number of unused ballot papers;
  7. number of used ballot papers;
  8. number of invalid ballot papers;
  9. number of valid ballot papers;
  10. number of votes won by respective candidates;
  11. candidates who have won the largest number of votes in each of the constituencies.

From the moment voting ends until the moment results of the election are announced, the municipal election commission shall publicise through the media the preliminary data on the election results.

Article 149

The municipal election commission shall issue councillors certificates they have been appointed councillors within twenty-four (24) hours following the establishment of the final results of the election.

The results of the election shall be deemed final when it is established in each of the constituencies where local election was held which candidate for a councillor has won the largest number of votes and after the procedure regarding the protection of suffrage has been followed in accordance with this act.

If the municipal election commission fails to issue the certificate within the prescribed term, it shall be issued by the republican election commission within the next forty-eight (48) hours. The municipal election commission is obliged to immediately place at the disposal of the republican election commission all the electoral material needed by them to issue certificates.

VI Repeated and additional election and

termination of councillor's term of office

Article 150

The repeated election shall be held if the municipal election commission or the competent municipal court annul the election due to irregularities in the election administration.

If the election at an individual polling station is annulled, voting shall be repeated at that polling station only.

The municipal election shall pass the resolution on the repeated election.

The results of the repeated election shall be determined after repeated election is finished.

The repeated election shall be held not later than within fifteen (15) days of the day the election in a constituency was annulled, or within seven (7) days of the day the election at a polling station was annulled in the manner and following the procedure prescribed for administration of election.

The repeated election shall be called for by the municipal election commission.

The repeated election shall be administered using the same list of candidates that was used for the election that was annulled except in cases when the election was annulled due to irregularities in the candidates nomination procedure.

Article 151

Complementary election shall be held when the election in a constituency have not been held or when a councillor's term of office has expired before the term he had been appointed to, except in the case of the decision to call for the early election.

When complementary election become necessary, the president of the municipal assembly shall inform of that the speaker of the republican parliament within thirty (30) days at the latest of the reason for such a need becoming evident and the speaker shall pass the decision on calling for the election within six (6) months of the date of receipt of the information at the latest.

Complementary election shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of this act applying to regular election.

Complementary election shall not be called for when less than six (6) months remains until the expiry of the term of office.

The term of office of a councillor elected in the complementary election shall last until the expiry of the term of office to which municipal assembly councillors have been elected.

Article 152

A coucillor's mandate shall terminate before the period he has been elected for has expired in the case that:

  1. he/she has resigned;
  2. the decision has been made to call for the early election;
  3. he/she has been sentenced by a finally-binding court decision to an unconditional imprisonment of at least six (6) months;
  4. he/she has been stripped of his business capacity;
  5. he/she takes over the position or the office that is incompatible with the office of a councillor under the provisions of this act;
  6. he/she should lose permanent residence on the territory of the municipality;
  7. he/she should lose citizenship;
  8. he/she dies; and
  9. he/she ceases to be a member of the political party that has nominated him the candidate for a councillor.

After a councillor files his resignation, the municipal assembly shall determined at its next meeting that on the day of his filing resignation the councillor's term of office has ended.

In cases referred to in Para. 1, Item 2 of this Article, a councillor's term of office shall be terminated on the day of verification of the term of office of newly elected councillors.

If a councillor's term of office is terminated due to the cases referred to in Para. 1, Items 3 to 9 of this Article, the municipal assembly shall establish at its next meeting, after it has been informed of the cases, that a councillor's term of office has ended.

The term of office of the newly elected councillor shall last until the expiry of the term of office of the councillor whose mandate has terminated.

 

VII Protection of suffrage

Article 153

Each elector, candidate for a councillor and nominator of a candidate are entitled to the protection of suffrage following the procedure specified by this act.

Article 154

Every elector, candidate for a councillor and nominator of a candidate have the right to lodge a complaint to the municipal election commission for reasons of irregularities in the nominations and election administration procedures.

The complaint shall be lodged within twenty-four (24) hours of the hour the decision was made, and the act performed or the failure to act occurred.

Article 155

The municipal election commission shall pass the decision within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of complaint and forward it to the party submitting the complaint.

If the municipal election commission finds the complaint is justified, it shall annul the candidates nomination procedure, appointment of councillor or shall annul the election of councillor.

Article 156

Against the decision of the municipal election commission a complaint may be lodged to the competent municipal court within twenty-four (24) hours of the receipt of the decision.

The complaint shall be dealt with at the council meeting.

The municipal election commission is obliged to immediately submit to the court, within twelve (12) hours at the latest, all the data and documents necessary for the decision.

All the procedures with regard to the protection of suffrage shall be regulated in accordance with the provision of the act regulating the administrative procedures.

The decision on the complaint shall be rendered within the maximum of forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the complaint and the documentation.

The decision rendered shall be effective and no request can be filed to have it reviewed, or a request for a repeated procedure that are provided for by the Administrative Procedure Act.

Article 157

If the court finds the complaint justified, it shall annul the candidate nomination procedure, or the election of councillors in the procedure of election of councillors.

If an election procedure or an election is annulled after the complaint, the municipal election commission is obliged to repeat the election procedure in question or the election within the term prescribed by this act for the repeated election. The term starts as from the day the decision to annul the procedure and the election was rendered.

Article 158

The municipal assembly shall be constituted within twenty (20) days of the day councillors were elected.

A councillor' s term of office starts on the day his mandate is confirmed.

Councillors' mandates are confirmed on the basis of the certificates of election for a councillor and the report of the municipal election commission on the administration of the election.

At the constituting session of the municipal assembly a three member commission shall be founded to establish the coordination between the certificate of election for a councillor and the report of the municipal election commission.

On the basis of the report of the commission referred to in Para. 4 of this Article, the person presiding over the constituting session of the municipal assembly shall state that the municipal election commission has submitted the report on the administration of the election stating which certificates of the election of councillors are in accordance with the report, this being the confirmation of the mandate of the newly elected councillors.

Article 159

If the election has not been held at a municipality or if after the election for the councillors of municipal assemblies its bodies are not constituted within sixty (60) days of the election date, the Government shall found the municipal council that shall perform the activities of the municipal assembly and the executive body until new election is held and municipal bodies constituted, informing the speaker of the republican parliament of this.

In the event referred to in Para. 1 of this Article, the speaker of the republican assembly shall call for the new election of the councillors to the municipal assembly within the maximum period of one (1) year of the date the election were to be held, or the date the previous election was administered. The term of office of councillors elected in this election shall last until the expiry of the mandate of the councillors to the municipal assemblies who have been elected in regular election.

Article 160

When the election has not been held in each constituency, but the minimum number of councillor has been elected that is required to pass documents within the municipal assembly in accordance with the procedures set out by the statute and other legal documents of the municipality, the assembly shall be constituted and the complementary election called for the unfulfilled seats of councillors in accordance with the provisions of this act.

VIII Election administration expenses

Article 161

Funds for the administration of the election and financing election activities for the election of councillors to the municipal assemblies shall be provided by the municipal budget.

The funds for the financing of electoral activities shall be distributed to nominators of candidates in the manner prescribed by the municipal assembly act.

No tax is collected on legal documents and procedures in the election procedure.

IX Implementation of regulations on the election of

representatives in the republican parliament

Article 162

Provisions of the Election of Representatives Act ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", No. 79/92, 83/92, 53/93, 67/93, 90/93, 107/93, 48/94 and 32/97) on the registers of electors, electoral material, appointment of election commission and polling boards, polling stations, informing citizens on nominated candidates, limitations on electoral promotion and announcement of preliminary results or estimates of the results of the election, voting, establishing and announcing the results of election, exemption from payment of taxes and contributions for assets that are collected as compensation for the work in the election administration bodies, tax exemption for action, petitions and other documents with regard to the election administration and termination of term of office of representatives and penal provisions are implemented accordingly to the election of councillors to municipal assemblies unless otherwise specified by this act.

X Election of councillors to the municipal assembly councils

Article 163

Members of the national community as well as citizens with non-specified nationality permanently residing on the territory of the municipality shall have the right to elect and be elected councillors to municipal assembly councils.

Article 164

Specification or the lack of specification of a citizen's nationality shall be entered into the register of electors.

Article 165

In the municipality, or the town/city where, in accordance with this act, the municipal assembly consists of councils, the municipal election commission in its permanent composition shall be appointed by selecting equal number of nationality community members and citizens with unspecified nationality that form the municipal assembly councils in accordance with the statute of the municipality.

Deputies of chairmen and members of municipal election commission shall be appointed following the procedure referred to in Para. 1 of this Article as well as the chairman and members of polling boards and their deputies.

Appointment of persons referred to in Para. 2 of this Article shall be conducted so as to keep the relation in the composition of bodies unchanged if a chairman or a member are replace by their deputies.

Article 166

The candidate nomination for the municipal assembly council containing all the prescribed documentation that is submitted to the municipal election commission must also contain a clear indication of which council the candidate is nominated for.

Article 167

The municipal election commission shall establish, within five (5) days of the expiry of term for filing candidacies, a special list of candidates for each council and for every constituency with all the confirmed candidate nominations in the constituency for the council for which the election is administered, specifying the names of all candidates and data on their date of birth, profession, permanent residence and title of nominator.

Article 168

When casting a vote, an elector is given the ballot paper in accordance with the indication of his/her nationality or absence of specification of nationality, entered in the register of electors.

Article 169

Ballot papers are printed in different colours for different councils.

Article 170

Beside the data prescribed by this act, a ballot paper must also contain the indication of council before the name and ordinal number of the first candidate.

Article 171

The municipal election commission shall establish the results of the election in accordance with the provisions of this act for each individual council.

Article 172

All the issues that are not regulated by this act shall be subject to the provisions regulating the election of councillors in the municipal assemblies.