OSCE observation mission report
An observation mission of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) visited the Netherlands between 29 August and 15 September in order to monitor the course and organisation of the House of Representatives elections. Its report of this visit, released 16 November, appears to be predominantly positive about the state of affairs.
The OSCE states that the legal framework of the elections forms a sound base for the holding of democratic elections and considers the bodies responsible for the execution of tasks in the electoral process to be professional and impartial. The OSCE also notes a high degree of confidence in the electoral process among voters and political parties. The OSCE judges party appellations to be adequate and transparent. The OSCE is also positive about the active and open campaigning and media coverage thereof by the media.
Comments & Criticism
The OSCE takes a less positive view on:
- The limited possibilities for appeal in the electoral process (e.g., there is currently no possibility to lodge an appeal against the election results or against the admission of members of representative bodies);
- Voting by proxy (OSCE views this way of voting as inconsistent with the principles of the secrecy of the vote and of 'one man, one vote' and has also pointed to the danger of 'family voting');
- The continued absence of legislation on financing political parties (a bill is currently being considered by the Senate).
- Incidentally, the aforementioned criticisms also appeared in previous OSCE reports.
The observation team of the OSCE's 'Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights' was led by Mr Lubomir Kopaj (ambassador, Slovakia).