OSCE Report Recognises Solid Organisation of General Elections in Estonia
Eestlased Eestis 18 May 2011  EWR
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The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) published on May 16 the final report of its election assessment mission to the 6 March general elections in Estonia, which says that the polls were conducted in abidance of international standards and agreements and involved all parties equally.

The Riigikogu elections were conducted in an environment characterised by respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and a high degree of trust in the impartiality of the election administration. Election stakeholders expressed confidence in the overall process, including internet voting. Voters had the opportunity to make an informed choice among a field of candidates representing a variety of political alternatives, the report said.

The legal framework generally provides an adequate legal basis for the conduct of democratic elections in accordance with OSCE commitments and other international standards, although it is of concern that large parts of the internet voting remain unregulated, OSCE/ODIHR pointed out. Despite concerns raised by some interlocutors, the mission in general found widespread trust in the conduct of the internet voting by the National Electoral Committee.

The report recommends that the National Electoral Committee build its own in-house IT expertise and capabilities on internet voting and retain detailed written records at all stages of the internet voting process. Furthermore, it recommends that the National Electoral Committee issue formal reports on testing of the internet voting system and publish them on its website in order to further increase the transparency and verifiability of the process.

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