The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on April 4 recommended to the authorities in Serbia to separate local elections from elections at other levels and to set aside a separate day for them, instead of holding them simultaneously with the presidential and parliamentary ones, as was the case with the vote on April 3.
If Serbia really wants to have a strong local self-government, this would be the right way to organize elections, said the head of a delegation of the Congress, Carla Dejonghe. She added that representatives of the Congress had come at the invitation of the Serbian authorities to observe the election process in Belgrade and several other places in Serbia.
She pointed out that the presidential and parliamentary elections overshadowing local problems, which had happened in these elections, along with "Putin's war in Ukraine," should be avoided. In her words, interlocutors told the delegation that there was no equality among election participants, especially in their access to the media, that votes were bought and that state officials abused their office for campaign purposes.