It is recommended to address the following key issues:
A. The draft code establishes limitations and deadlines for the formation of coalitions after the first round of elections. These provisions unduly limit the possibility of building a political coalition as a means for ensuring the "stable majority" required by the Constitution. It is recommended to reconsider restrictions on the number of participants in a coalition and extend the time period for formation of coalitions after the first round.
B. Concerns regarding the accuracy of voter lists and potential impersonation of voters de facto abroad underlie longstanding opposition and civil society calls to publish signed voter lists after election day. Publication of signed voters’ lists raises a number of concerns regarding privacy of information. The concerns expressed by civil society seem to have been at least partially addressed in the interim version of the draft code, through the possibility of accessing the list of voters who voted. Considering the importance of ensuring a balance between data protection and the secrecy of the vote on the one hand and stakeholders’ interest in consulting the signed voter lists on the other, it is recommended, as a confidence building measure, to allow meaningful consultation of signed voter lists by stakeholders under specific conditions.
C. The draft code envisages the introduction of new technologies in respect of voter registration and identification. It is welcome that voter registration and identification issues are addressed, but the proper implementation of new technologies has to be ensured. Particularly in light of the short time before the next elections and the need to build trust in the electoral process, it is recommended that a number of issues be thoroughly considered, including harmonising new provisions with existing data protection laws and standards, applying proper procedures for procurement, ensuring public testing and certification of the equipment, guaranteeing contingency planning, providing sufficient training for electoral staff, and ensuring effective awareness-raising among voters and political parties. A gradual approach to the introduction of such technologies through a series of pilots would be a measure to enhance confidence in the system and provide opportunities to address technical issues regarding effective implementation. Initial pilots could take place, for example, during the upcoming local elections.