III. Comments on the Text on the Draft Electoral Law
J. Voting, counting and establishment rules
Article 94.17 of the draft electoral law allows the DEC, after a recount of the ballots, to declare the results in a PEC invalid. In the case of the DEC’s declaration of invalidity after a recount, the DEC tabulates the results regardless of the number of polling station results that have been excluded due to invalidity. In the 2012 parliamentary elections abuse of this provision was observed, which led to numerous recounts by DECs and subsequent declarations of invalidity. It was also observed that ballots in some of these instances appeared to have been tampered with in the DEC premises and the invalidation of PEC results by the DEC changed losing candidates into winning candidates. Article 94.17 of the draft electoral law becomes more problematic when applied with Article 94.16, which allows the DEC to declare PEC results invalid in case of non-admission of observers or authorised representatives of candidates and parties. Articles 94.16 and 94.17 should be carefully considered due to the past experience of abuse that allowed DECs to adopt decisions that resulted in changes of the election results.
 See OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report on the 28 October 2012 parliamentary elections, page 30.