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For the first time since the country’s independence, we have elections as a NATO member state, waiting to start accession negotiations with the European Union. The election process and the elections must be conducted according to high standards and criteria, taking into account our Euro-Atlantic perspective.

These elections are being held during the COVID-19 pandemic, declared by the World Health Organization. In this regard, special health protocols will be in force to enable all citizens who decide to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, to do so safely and adequately protected.

Dear fellow citizens, act in line with the protocols for safety and protection during the overall election process. During the voting, be protected, respecting the measures, protocols and keep the prescribed distance.

I urge all participants in the election process to contribute to making these elections fair, free and democratic, as they pledged by signing the Code of Fair and Democratic Elections. I expect all political parties to organize a campaign in which participation will be safe for all, both for the candidates and for the citizens. I expect from all political parties a dignified campaign, with a high level of political culture, without discrediting others. I expect an inclusive campaign in which all marginalized groups and minorities will participate, in which their interest will be represented.

On the other hand, I expect all institutions that are most called upon and competent to conduct the election process to work professionally, in accordance with the principles of openness, equality and impartiality.

Freedom of expression is crucial for a credible electoral process and for citizens to receive relevant, timely and true information in order to independently decide who to vote for. In conditions when we have elections without mass rallies and field activities, the media gain an even more important role and that is why it is necessary to inform the public impartially and professionally. Social media will be important tool in the election campaign, often as a source of inflammatory speech and fake news that undermines the democratic development of open societies. I appeal to the citizens to be careful and regularly check the information that is placed on social media from unknown sources.

Let me wish you successful elections, a fair and correct campaign, and, in the end, the right decision to be made by the citizens.

Dear citizens, I call on you to come out and vote according to your personal convictions, without fear and without pressure. Make a personal decision for which political option and for which policy you will give your vote and your trust.