The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions
The BHHRG observers visited 7 polling stations in Virpazar, Bar, Sveti Stefan and Kotor. The atmosphere between the evenly-balanced memberships of the individual election commissions was relaxed. Everywhere three pro- and three anti-independence commissioners were present. Queues were witnessed early in the day but by late afternoon the flow of voters had become a trickle. Although the members of the electoral commissions expressed no doubts about the proper conduct of the poll in their own stations, unionist members made complaints about the one-sided nature of the referendum campaign and the local media coverage of it. Shortly after voting ended at 21.00 exit polls were read out on TVCG giving victory to the ‘yes’ campaign. Leaving aside the fact that BHHRG had seen no evidence of any exit polls during 21st May, it seemed out-of-order for the Montenegrin public to receive the projected results from two NGOs – Cesid and CTD rather than from the Republican Referendum Commission. Appropriately, a list of their foreign ‘donors’ appeared on a screen behind the presenters. Immediately, the ‘Yes’ campaign started to celebrate its anticipated victory.
HITS: 2210 | 12-01-2007, 16:43 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Montenegro , Politics, Political science
Montenegrin independence is supported by the leading political party, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and its allies the Social Democrats, although traditionally the issue was always associated with the small Liberal Party that has been in and out of coalition with the DPS over the past eight years. The minorities – Albanians in the south and Bosnians along the border with Bosnia Herzogovina – have also propped up Mr. Djukanovic’s governments. They, too, support independence. BHHRG visited the Albanian village of Tuzi which lies on the main highway to Albania, south of Podgorica. The road is known as a conduit for stolen cars and a steady stream of expensive Western models passed through that day. Some Montenegrins cynically point out that the Albanian and Bosnian communities which live mainly in the border areas would benefit from the smuggling opportunities resulting from internationally recognised borders with their own customs arrangements.