Should international observer missions influence fairness of elections?
Could they be considered a tool for promoting democracy or rather a mean of legitimizing government of pseudo democrats?
These and many other questions were answered by three experienced elections observers during a seminar organized by the Centre which was held on April 18 at the Faculty of Social Science, Masaryk University.
Petruška Šustrová, a prominent Czech dissident, now translator and journalist and observer of the elecstions in the Caucasus; Tomáš Šmíd, assistant professor at FSS MU and observer of elections in Georgia and Armenia; and Matej Kurian, programme coordinator in Transparency International in Slovakia and observer of elections in Zambia accepted the invitation.
The first part of the seminar consisted of comments of each guest on their experience from the observation missions they took part in. The a discussion focusing on the importance of international observation missions and their influence on the development of democrary followed. All three panelists agreed that the benefits of the missions cannot be seen in "impartial" assessment of the elections, because the "impartial" report is usually written before the elections and it is rather a political declaration, but rather in personal experience of the observers who often feel they have to share it thus informing public about political situation in the relevant country.