Today, in the Parliament of Montenegro, the Slovak media and election expert Mr Rastislav Kužel held a presentation on “The Role of Media in the Electoral Process”.
The event has gathered members of the Committee on Further Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation, associate members of the Committee from the NGO sector and academic community, members of the Working Group for Preparing the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio and Television of Montenegro, members of the Working Group for Preparing the Draft Law on Media, ODIHR experts, as well as representatives of the EU Delegation, OSCE Mission and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic.
Opening the event, President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović pointed out that the role of media in the electoral process represented a significant element of the overall electoral environment, starting from the creation of opportunities for the political actors to present themselves and their programmes, to confront each other's positions and open debates, to the opportunity for the citizens, as sovereign holders of voting rights, to better recognise to whom to give their trust. “In order to further increase the public’s trust in the electoral process, the Parliament of Montenegro has established the Committee on Further Reform of Electoral and Other Legislation, in which media hold a significant place”, reminded the President of the Parliament on that occasion.
President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović pointed out that the media should not serve political entities, but should perform their duties in a professional manner, because only such professional media could be of benefit to their communities and their profession.
“Electoral legislation reform is a common goal of all parliamentary parties in Montenegro, therefore I believe that only via dialogue we can reach solutions to improve the overall electoral environment”, concluded Mr Brajović.
The attendees were also addressed by Ambassador of Slovakia to Montenegro Mr Roman Hloben and Head of the OSCE Mission Ms Maryse Daviet, who pointed out the significance of mainstream and social media, and their impact on society and daily life, and especially the significance of fair and free media in the election process.
As a media, communication, election and democratic governance expert, with extensive international experience, Mr Rastislav Kužel presented international standards and best practice, providing a comprehensive review of the professional experience from the field of media monitoring and elections. Mr Kužel talked about media monitoring, the role of a media regulator during elections, media coverage of elections, as well as the role and impact of social media platforms on election integrity and trust of citizens.
The Slovak expert’s presentation was followed by active discussion of participants on relevant details from the field of media and electoral legislation. The attendees were also addressed by the ODIHR representative Mr Vladimir Misev, who referred to recommendations relating to media from the OSCE/ODIHR election observation reports from 2016 and 2018.
The event was organised in cooperation with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic to Montenegro, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.