Škrelja should immediately initiate the election of the new president of the SEC

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) calls upon Luidj Skrelja, President of the Administrative Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro, to promptly, in line with article 42 para 4 of the Rules of Procedure, convene a session of the Committee and to open competition for the President of State Elections Commission (SEC).

We remind that Djordjije Vukcevic, president of the SEC, according to his own words, notified the Parliament, on October 2019, that he will turn 67 years on 17 January 2020. Furthermore, this fact was also known to the MPs within the Administrative Committee, during the nomination of Vukcevic for the President of the SEC.

As the Administrative Committee, for three months, did nothing concerning this issue, it is about time to finally open the competition since the term of office of the current president of the SEC is terminated today by the force of law.

The procedure of election of SEC’s president requires certain time (duration of call for competition, nomination and appointment). Hence, we can note that the Administrative Committee is already late with opening of this competition, which will lead to the situation where institution in charge of conducting elections will be, for certain time, without the president in the election year.

Moreover, public explanations of Vukcevic that he can still keep that function raise concern. Namely, we had recently exactly the same situation with the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms, also appointed by the Parliament, when then Protector, Sucko Bakovic, immidiately left his position in line with the law when he gained conditions for old-age pension, without waiting for the election of the new Protector.

The actions of the most responsible actors for conduct of election process have contributed to the public confusion, as also illustrated by the completely opposite standpoint of the president of the Administrative Committee Luidj Skrelja. He has announced a call for competition, but also predicted impossible – timeframe of the procedure for the election of the new president of the SEC. In overall, the outcome of irresponsible actions of competent authorities will lead to interim state in the SEC just several months before the elections.

The CCE urges parliamentary clubs and MPs to react and to act within the framework of their authority to protect legality and legitimacy of the process, which include urgent call for competition by the Adminstrative Committee to alleviate damaging consequences that this situation can cause in the election year.

Vasilije Radulovic, Programme Associate