Print   

LAW

ON LOCAL ELECTIONS

("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", no. 129/2007)

I. MAIN PROVISIONS

Article 1

This Law shall regulate the election and termination of the mandate of councillors of assemblies of units of local self-government (hereinafter: the councillors).

Article 2

Councillors shall be elected for a four-year mandate.

Elections of councillors shall be conducted no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the mandate of councillors whose mandate is expiring.

Article 3

Citizens shall elect councillors on the basis of free, universal and equal suffrage. The citizens exercise their aforesaid right directly, by secret vote.

No one is entitled, on any grounds whatsoever, to prevent or force a citizen to vote, hold him/her accountable for having voted or require him/her to state for whom he/she has voted or why he/she has not voted.

Article 4

Citizens are entitled, by the means of public information outlets, to be equally, timely, truthfully, impartially and completely informed about the election campaign of all submitters of electoral lists and candidates from such lists, as well as about other events of importance for the elections.

Public information outlets shall in the election campaign ensure equality, timeliness, truthfulness, impartiality and completeness in providing information about all submitters of electoral lists and candidates from such lists, as well as about other events of importance for the elections.

Election campaign, in the sense of this Law, shall entail all public political, promotional and other activities of submitters of electoral lists and candidates from such lists.

Article 5

Councillors shall be elected from the lists of political parties, their coalitions, other political organizations and lists submitted by groups of citizens (hereinafter: the electoral list).

Article 6

The right to elect a councillor shall belong to all adult citizens of the Republic of Serbia with the capacity to contract and with residence on the territory of the unit of local self-government where he/she practices his/her right to vote.

Eligible to be elected for councillor shall be all adult citizens of the Republic of Serbia with the capacity to contract and with residence on the territory of the unit of local self-government on which he/she was nominated for councillor.

Article 7

Elections of councillors shall be conducted in the municipality as a single electoral unit.

Councillor mandates shall be distributed amongst electoral lists in proportion to the number of votes obtained by each electoral list.

Article 8

Elections for councillors shall be announced by the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The period between the proclamation of the elections and the conduction of the elections shall not be less than 45 and no more than 90 days.

The decision on announcing elections shall establish the date of the election day, as well as the start of new terms for performing electoral acts.

The decision on announcing elections shall be published in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia".

Article 9

In units of local self-government with a mixed ethnic composition, national minorities shall be proportionately represented in the assemblies of units of local self-government, in accordance with the Constitution and this Law.

Article 10

Elections for councillors shall be conducted by the election commissions of units of local self-government and election committees.

II. ELECTION OF COUNCILLORS OF THE ASSEMBLY

OF THE UNIT OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

1. Electoral bodies

Article 11

Elections shall be conducted by the following bodies: the Election Commission of the unit of local self-government (hereinafter: the Election Commission) and election committees.

The electoral bodies shall be autonomous and independent in their work and act in accordance with the law and regulations determined by the law.

The electoral bodies shall be accountable for their work to the authority that has appointed them.

All bodies and organizations have the duty to provide assistance to electoral bodies and provide them with information necessary for their work.

Article 12

Eligible for members of electoral bodies and their deputies may be only citizens with the right to vote, as well as residence on the territory of the unit of local self-government.

The functions of the members of electoral bodies and their deputies in these bodies shall cease when they accept the candidacy for councillor.

Article 13

The Election Commission shall work in a standing composition (appointed members) and extended composition (plenipotentiary members).

The Election Commission shall work in its extended composition as of the day of determining such composition to the termination of the election.

No political party or party coalition may have more than half of the members in the standing composition of the electoral bodies.

The decision on the appointment of the Chairperson and members of electoral bodies, shall in addition to the personal name of the Chairperson/member, include his/her political affiliation or the name of the party and/or party coalition that has appointed him/her.

Article 14

The Election Commission in its standing composition shall consist of the Chairperson and no less than six members appointed by the assembly of the unit of local self-government, at the proposal of a councillor group in the assembly of the unit of local self-government, in proportion to the number of councillors; in the extended composition, the aforesaid Chairperson and no less than six members shall be joined by one plenipotentiary representative of each submitter of the electoral list that has proposed no less than two thirds of candidates of the overall number of councillors to be elected.

Political parties and political party coalitions of national minorities that propose at least one third of the candidates for councillors of the overall number of councillors to be elected shall have the right to have their representative in the extended composition of the Election Commission.

The Election Commission has a Secretary appointed by the assembly of the unit of local self-government. The Secretary participates in the work of the Commission without decision-making rights.

The Chairperson, the Secretary and the members of the Election Commission in the standing and extended composition shall have deputies.

Eligible for Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Election Commission shall be any person who is a graduated lawyer.

On the day of announcing the electoral lists, the Election Commission shall at the same time pass a decision determining which submitters of electoral lists met the requirements for appointing its members to the extended composition of the Election Commission.

The decision on the fulfillment or nonfulfillment of conditions for appointing a plenipotentiary representative to the extended composition of the Election Commission shall be delivered to the submitter of the electoral list by the Election Commission within 24 hours of the enactment of such a decision.

The submitter of an electoral list shall appoint its plenipotentiary representative to the Election Commission and notify the Election Commission thereof.

The Election Commission shall set out its extended composition within 24 hours from the receipt of the notification about persons assigned in its extended composition.

If the submitter of an electoral list fails to assign his plenipotentiary representative to the Election Commission within five days prior to the day of when the elections have been scheduled for, the Election Commission shall continue to work and take binding decisions without the representative of the submitter of the electoral list.

Against the decision of the assembly of the unit of local self-government on the appointment of the Chairperson and members of the Election Commission in its standing composition an appeal may be lodged with the competent district court within 24 hours from the enactment of such a decision.

Against the decision of the Election Commission from paragraph 7 of this Article protection shall be ensured by this Law in the proceeding for the protection of electoral right.

Article 15

The Election Commission shall:

1) Ensure the legality of the election of councillors;

2) Determine polling stations, especially taking into account the equal distribution of voters on polling stations and the accessibility of the polling station to the voters;

3) Establish election committees and appoint their members;

4) Issue instructions to election committees regarding the conduct of the elections of councillors;

5) Provide for the forms and organizes technical preparation for conducting the elections of councillors;

6) Establish whether the electoral lists have been drawn up and submitted in accordance with the regulations on the elections of councillors;

7) Announce electoral lists;

8) Define the form and content of ballot papers, the number of ballot papers for polling stations and keep minutes that it shall deliver to the election committees;

9) Ascertain and announce the overall results of the elections for councillors;

10) Submit a report to the assembly of the unit of local self-government on the conducted elections of councillors;

11) Submit to the ministry in charge of local self-government affairs and the republic authority in charge of statistics the data on the organization and results of the of councillors, immediately upon the completion of the elections;

12) Perform other tasks prescribed by the regulations on the elections of councillors.

Article 16

The election committee shall work in a standing and extended composition.

The election committee in its standing composition shall consist of the Chairperson and no less than four members.

The determination of the composition of the election committee in its extended composition shall be subject to those provisions of this Law governing the Election Commission in its extended composition.

The Chairperson and members of the election committee shall have their deputies.

The election committee shall be appointed no later than ten days prior to the election day.

The decision on the appointment of election committees shall be issued to all submitters of confirmed electoral lists within 48 hours of the enactment of such a decision.

Article 17

The election committee shall directly manage the voting, ensure the regularity and secrecy of the vote, ascertain the voting results at the polling station and perform other tasks prescribed by law.

The election committee shall ensure the maintenance of order at the polling station during the voting. More detailed rules about the tasks of the election committee shall be established by the Election Commission.

2. Nomination of Candidates

Article 18

Candidates for councillors may be nominated, separately or jointly, by political parties, coalitions and other political organizations, as well as groups of citizens whose electoral lists obtain the support of no less than 30 voters per nomination for each candidate on the electoral list. The submitter’s list shall include no less than one third of the overall number of nominated candidates.

In units of local self-government with less than 20.000 voters, electoral lists from paragraph 1 of this Article shall be admited even if supported by the signatures of no less than 200 voters.

On behalf of a political party or group of citizens, only a person authorized by a political party or group of citizens may submit nominations from paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article.

On behalf of a coalition of political parties, no more than two authorized persons may submit the nomination from paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article.

Article 19

The electoral list shall be submitted to the Election Commission no later than 15 days prior to the day scheduled for elections.

The following documentation shall be attached to an electoral list submitted to the Election Commission:

1) The certificate of suffrage for each candidate from the electoral list, including the name and surname, date of birth, occupation and citizen’s identification number of the candidate;

2) The candidate’s written statement of acceptance of the candidacy;

3) The certificate of residence of the candidate;

4) The written approval of the head of the electoral list;

5) The authorization of the person submitting the list;

6) The certificate of citizenship;

7) The signatures of the voters that have supported the electoral list.

The documentation specified in paragraph 2, items 1), 3) and 6) of this Article shall not be subject to a fee.

Article 20

The same person may be a candidate for councillor on one electoral list only.

The submitter of the electoral list shall determine the order of candidates on the list.

The electoral list shall include no less than 30% of candidates of the less represented sex on the list.

If the electoral list is not in compliance with the requierements of paragraph 3 of this Article, the electoral list shall be considered to be deficient for proclamation and the submitter of the said list shall be called to remove such deficiencies in accordance with this Law.

If the submitter of the list fails to eliminate the shortcomings from paragraph 4 of this Article, the Election Commission shall deny the proclamation of the electoral list, in accordance with this Law.

If upon issuing of the decision on the proclamation of the electoral list, the candidate is deprived of his/her capacity to contract by a final court decision, he/she looses the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia, renounces his/her candidacy or in case of death, the submitter of the electoral list shall lose the right to nominate a new candidate.

Article 21

The submitter of an electoral list may withdraw the list at the latest by the day of the confirmation of the general electoral list.

With the withdrawal of the electoral list, the function of the submitter’s representative in all electoral bodies shall cease, as well all rights he/she has enjoyed in that capacity in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Article 22

The name of the electoral list shall be established according to the name of the political party submitting the list and the name may include the name and surname of the person nominated by the political party as the head of the electoral list.

If two or more political parties submit a joint electoral list, the name of the electoral list and the head of the electoral list shall be agreed upon by these political parties.

Along with the name of the electoral list of a group of citizens, the submitter shall specifically define the list, and the name may include the name and the surname of the person nominated by the group of citizens as head of the electoral list.

The person designated as head of the electoral list may be a candidate for councillor.

Article 23

The Election Commission shall provide for the format and content of the form for the signatures of voters supporting an electoral list and shall provide such form to the participants in the elections within three days from the announcement of the elections.

A voter may put his signature in support of the electoral list of only one submitter.

The signature of a voter in support of an electoral list must be certified in accordance with the law governing the certification of signatures.

The fee for the certification of signatures shall be established by a separate act of the ministry in charge of the judiciary.

Article 24

The Election Commission shall proclaim the electoral list immediately upon the receipt of the said list and the accompanying documentation, and no later than within 24 hours from the receipt of the electoral list.

The Election Commission shall deliver to the submitter the decision on the proclamation of the electoral list specified in paragraph 1 of this Article without delay.

Article 25

If the Election Commission establishes that the electoral list has not been timely submitted, it shall enact a decision rejecting such electoral list.

If the Election Commission establishes that an electoral list contains deficiencies which represent an impediment for the proclamation of the electoral list in accordance with this Law, it shall within 24 hours from the receipt of the electoral list take a decision instructing the submitter of the electoral list to remove such deficiencies within 24 hours of the delivery of this decision. The decision shall also point out to the submitter of the electoral list the actions that shall be considered in order to remove the deficiencies.

If the Election Commission establishes that the electoral list contains shortcomings as stipulated in this Law or if it establishes that the shortcoming of the electoral list have not been eliminated or have not been eliminated in the due time, it shall within 24 hours enact a decision denying the proclamation of the electoral list.

Article 26

The Election Commission shall determine the general electoral list, which includes all electoral lists with the personal names of all candidates and information about dates of birth, occupation and place of residence.

The order of the electoral lists with the names of all candidates on the general electoral list shall be determined according to the order of their proclamation.

The general electoral list shall be published by the Election Commission in the same manner as regulations of units of local self-government are published and no later than ten days from the election day.

Each submitter of an electoral list shall have the right, within 48 hours from the publication of the general electoral list, to inspect, through authorized persons, all submitted electoral lists and the accompanying documentation.

Article 27

The citizens shall have the right to be informed about electoral lists.

The citizens shall have the right, through public information outlets, to be timely, truthfully and impartially informed about all activities of the participants to the electoral process and events of importance for the elections.

3. Conducting the Elections

Article 28

The Election Commission shall for each election committee timely prepare the balloting material and in particular the necessary number of ballot papers, the excerpt from the voters’ registration list, certificates of suffrage, special official envelopes for voting, as well as the reporting forms of the electoral committee.

The ballot papers shall be prepared and verified by the Election Commission.

The Election Commission shall determine the overall number of ballot papers which must equal the number of voters registered in the voters’ register of the municipality.

The Election Commission shall supervise the preparation and certification of ballot papers and determines the number of spare ballot papers, which may not exceed 0,3% of the overall number of ballot papers.

The ballot papers shall be printed in one place.

The submitter of an electoral list shall submit to the Election Commission the name of the person authorised to attend the printing, counting and packing of the ballot papers and their delivery to the bodies in charge of conducting the elections.

In municipalities in which the languages of national minorities are in official use, the ballot papers shall also be printed in those languages.

The Election Commission shall specify the content, format and appearance of ballot papers and determine the printing company, the manner and control of the printing, as well as the delivery and handling of the ballot papers.

Article 29

The hand-over of the election material shall take place no later than 24 hours prior to the election day.

The municipal administration shall organize the polling stations and prepare for each electoral committee the necessary number of ballot boxes, accessories for the sealing, polling screens and writing accessories.

On election day and prior to the start of the vote, the electoral committee shall determine whether the prepared election material for a given polling stations is complete and in order, and whether the polling station has been arranged so as to ensure the secrecy of the vote and whether the voting may begin, and shall record all that in its minutes.

Article 30

The ballot paper shall contain:

1) the ordinal number placed before the name of the electoral list;

2) the names of electoral lists according to the order as established on the general list, with the personal name of the first candidate on the list;

3) A note that only one electoral list may be voted for, by circling the ordinal number before the name of that list or the name of the list.

Article 31

The general electoral list, with the names of the electoral lists and the names of all candidates, shall be visibly displayed in the polling station during voting.

Content, form and manner of displaying the general electoral list specified in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be determined by the Election Commission.

Article 32

Representatives of submitters of electoral lists and candidates for councillors shall be entitled to inspect the election material, and especially the excerpts from voters’ registers, minutes of the Electoral Commission, minutes of election committees and ballot papers. Such inspection shall be carried out in the premises of the Election Commission. The balloting material may be inspected within five days from Election Day.

Article 33

A voter shall vote at the polling stations where he/she is registered in the voters’ register.

A voter may also vote outside of the polling station where he/she is registered in the excerpt of the voters’ register under the conditions and in the manner stipulated by law.

Voting outside of the polling station, as well as the number of voters that have voted in such a manner shall be entered in the minutes of the electoral committee.

Article 34

The voter shall cast his/her vote in person.

A voter may vote only for one electoral list on the ballot paper.

Voting is performed by circling the ordinal number before the name of the electoral list that the voters wishes to vote for or, respectively, that it can be unequivocally determined for which electoral list the voter has voted for.

The voter him/herself shall fold the ballot paper so that it can not be seen for which electoral list he/she has voted for, insert the ballot paper in the ballot box, and immediately leave the polling station.

4. Establishing and Publishing Election Results

Article 35

Upon concluding the vote, the electoral committee shall establish the results of the vote at the polling station.

The electoral committee shall establish the number of unused ballot papers and put them in a specially sealed envelope, with an indication that it contains unused ballot papers.

On the basis of the excerpt from the voters’ register, the electoral committee shall establish the total number of voters that have turned out for the vote.

When the ballot box is opened, the control sheet shall be checked and valid ballot papers shall be separated from invalid ones.

The election committee shall establish the number of invalid ballot papers and enter it in the minutes; it shall seal the invalid ballot papers in a special envelope with an indication that it contains invalid ballot papers and then establish the number of valid ballot papers and the number of votes obtained by each electoral list, which also shall be entered in the minutes.

Valid ballot papers shall be placed in a specially sealed envelope with an indication that it contains valid ballots papers.

An invalid ballot paper is the one that is not filled in, a ballot paper that is filled-in in such a way that it can not be established for which electoral list the voter has voted and/or a ballot paper on which more than one electoral list has been circled.

If on the ballot paper the name and surname of the first candidate of the electoral list has been circled or the name or part of the name of the electoral list or when the ordinal number and the name of the electoral list together with the name and surname of the first candidate are circled at the same time, such ballot paper shall be considered valid.

If established that the number of ballot papers in the ballot box exceeds the number of voters that have voted or if the control paper is not found in the ballot box, the election committee shall be dismissed and a new one shall be appointed, while the vote at the polling station shall be repeated.

Article 36

Upon having ascertained the results of the vote, the election committee shall enter the following in the minutes: number of ballot papers received, number of unused ballot papers; number of invalid ballot papers; number of valid ballot papers; number of votes obtained by each electoral list; number of voters according to the excerpt from the voters’ register and the number of voters that have voted.

The minutes on the work of the election committee shall also include objections and opinions of the members of the election committee, submitters of electoral lists and joint representatives of the submitters of electoral lists, as well as all other facts of importance for the vote.

The minutes on the work of the election committee shall be signed by all members of the election committee.

Article 37

The minutes on the work of the election committee shall be drawn up on the appropriate form to be printed in six copies.

In municipalities in which the languages of national minorities are in official use, the minutes on the work of the election committee shall also be printed in those languages.

The first copy of the minutes and the ascertained election material shall be delivered to the Election Commission.

The second copy of the minutes shall be displayed at the polling stations for the public.

The remaining four copies of the minutes shall be handed over to the representatives of the submitters of electoral lists that have obtained the largest number of votes at the polling station; this shall be done immediately, if the submitter of the electoral list has a representative in the election committee, if a representative is not present he/she shall be able to receive the minutes from the Election Commission within 24 hours.

The remaining submitters of electoral lists shall be entitled, within 24 hours of the delivery of the material from the polling station to the Election Commission, to obtain from the Election Commission a certified copy of the minutes from that polling station.

Article 38

After having established the results of the vote, the election committee shall without delay and no later than within eight hours from the closing of the polling stations, deliver to the Election Commission the minutes on establishing the results of the vote at the polling station, the excerpt from the voters’ register, valid ballot papers in a separate sealed envelope, unused ballot papers in a separate sealed envelope, invalid ballot papers in a separate sealed envelope, as well as the remaining election documentation.

Minutes shall be taken on the hand-over of the election documentation, which shall be signed by the representative of the Election Commission and no less than two members of the election committee, which have submitted the election documentation.

Article 39

Upon receipt of the election material from the polling stations, the Election Commission shall, within 24 hours from the closing of polling stations, verify: total number of voters registered in the voters’ lists; number of voters that have voted at the polling stations; number of voters that have voted outside of the polling station; total number of ballot papers received; total number of invalid ballot papers; total number of valid ballot papers and number of votes obtained by each electoral list.

The Election Commission shall ascertain the results of the vote at the polling stations no later than within six hours from the delivery of the reports from the polling stations.

Article 40

The Election Commission ascertains the results of the elections and includes them in separate minutes.

Each electoral list shall be entitled to the number of mandates proportionately to the number of votes it has obtained.

The Election Commission shall ascertain the number of mandates belonging to each electoral list.

The distribution of mandates shall include electoral lists that have obtained the votes of no less than 5% of the total number of votes.

Political parties of national minorities and coalition of national minority political parties shall participate in the distribution of mandates even if they have received less than 5% of the total number of votes.

Political parties of national minorities are all those parties whose main goal is to represent and stand for the interests of a national minority and the protection and improvement of the rights of national minorities, in accordance with standards of international law.

Whether the submitter of an electoral list has the status of a national minority political party or national minority political coalition shall be subject to a decision of the Election Commission of the unit of local self-government when the electoral list is submitted and at the request of the submitter of the electoral list.

Article 41

The Election Commission shall distribute the mandates by applying the system of the largest quotient.

Mandates shall be distributed dividing the total number of votes obtained by each list by numbers from 1 to the number corresponding to the number of councillors elected into the assembly of the local self-government unit. The quotients obtained in such a way shall be sorted by size, taking into account the number of the largest quotient that corresponds to the number of councillors elected in the assembly of the local self-government unit. Each electoral list shall be allocated the number of mandates that corresponds to the number of quotients assorted to the given list.

If two or more electoral lists obtain the same quotient on the basis of which one mandate is to be assigned and there are no more unassigned mandates, the mandate shall be assigned to the list with the largest number of votes obtained.

The Election Commission shall within 24 hours of the closure of the polling stations allocate the councillors’ mandates in the manner referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and shall make a separate record thereof.

Article 42

Mandates belonging to a particular electoral list shall be assigned to the candidates from that list, in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Article 43

The submitter of the electoral list shall, no later than ten days from the announcement of the overall election results, deliver to the Election Commission of the local self-government unit the information on which candidates from the electoral list are to be assigned the obtained councillor mandates.

If the submitter of the electoral list fails to deliver the information specified in paragraph 1 of this Article, the Election Commission shall notify him/her in writing that he/she must deliver the aforesaid information in an additional term of five days, along with a warning about the consequences of non-compliance.

If the submitter of the electoral list fails to deliver the information specified in paragraph 1 of this Article in the aforesaid additional time, the Election Commission shall assign all mandates obtained by that list to candidates from the list according to the order in the list.

Article 44

The Election Commission shall announce the election results within 24 hours from the closing of polling stations.

Article 45

The Election Commission shall issue to the councillor a certificate of election.

5. Cessation of Mandate and Repeated Elections

Article 46

The mandate of the councillor shall cease prior to the term he/she was elected for:

1) if he/she resigns;

2) if a decision on the dissolution of the local self-government assembly is passed;

3) if by a final court ruling he/she has been sentenced to an unconditional prison sentence of no less than six months;

4) if by a final court ruling he/she has been deprived of the capacity to contract;

5) by accepting a post or assuming a function stipulated by the law as incompatible with the function of councillor.

6) in case of termination of residence on the territory of the unit of local self-government;

7) in case of loss of citizenship;

8) In case of death of the councillor.

The councillor may resign verbally on the session of the assembly of the unit of local self-government and in between two sessions, he/she may tender his/her resignation in officially verified written form.

Upon the verbal resignation of a councillor, the assembly shall, without delay, ascertain on the same session that the mandate of the councillor has ceased.

The assembly shall decide on its next session upon the resignation handed in by the councillor in between two sessions.

A councillor shall be entitled to withdraw his/her resignation until the assembly ascertains the cessation of his/her mandate.

If the mandate of the councillor ceases in the cases referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, items 2) to 8), the assembly of the unit of local self-government shall, on the first session after the receipt of the information about such a case, ascertain that the mandate of the councillor has ceased.

Article 47

The submitter of the electoral list and the candidate for councillor or the councillor may sign an agreement regulating mutual relations and establishing the right of the submitter of the electoral list to resign, on behalf of the councillor, from the function of councillor in the assembly of the unit of local self-government.

Upon signing the agreement referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, the candidate for councillor and/or the councillor shall present his/her blank resignation to the submitter of the electoral list, which is stated in the agreement.

The blank resignation is a writing containing the statement of the candidate for councillor and/or the councillor that he/she is resigning from the function of councillor in the assembly of the local self-government unit, as well as the authorization granted to the submitter of the electoral list to present this resignation, on his/her behalf, to the president of the municipal assembly of the local self-government unit.

On the grounds of the agreement from paragraph 1 of this Article, the submitter of the electoral list acquires the right to freely dispose of the mandate of the councillor with whom he/she has signed the agreement by individual decision on when he/she will realize the aforesaid authorization.

The resignation and the authorization from the blank resignation may not be revoked.

The councillor who has presented the blank resignation may participate in the work and decision-making of the assembly of the local self-government unit and realize all rights stemming from the function of councilor, until the assembly of the local self-government unit confirms the termination of his/her mandate on the grounds of the resignation tendered on his/her behalf by the submitter of the electoral list.

The agreement specified in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be prepared in written form, and the signatures it contains, as well as the signature on the blank resignation, shall be verified in accordance with the law regulating signature verification.

The fees for the verification of signatures shall be determined by a separate enactment of the ministry in charge of justice.

Article 48

If the mandate of a councillor ceases prior to the expiry of the term he/she has been elected for, the mandate shall belong to the submitter of the electoral list on whose list the councillor whose mandate has ceased was elected from. The Election Commission shall assign that mandate to the candidate determined by the submitter of the electoral list. The Election Commission shall issue a certificate of election to the said councillor.

If the mandate of the councillor ceases prior to the expiry of the term he/she has been elected for and the electoral list that the mentioned councillor was elected from contains no other candidates for which the submitter of the electoral list did not obtain a mandate, the mandate shall belong to the submitter of the electoral list with the next largest quotient, for which he/she did not obtain a mandate.

The mandate of the new councillor shall last until the termination of the mandate of the councillor whose mandate has ceased.

Prior to the councillor’s acceptance of the mandate, a written consent on the acceptance of the mandate shall be attained from the candidate.

Article 49

Against the decisions of the assembly of the local self-government unit on the cessation of a councillor’s mandate, as well as on the confirmation of the mandate of the new councillor, a complaint may be filed with the competent District Court.

Filing a complaint is also possible if the assembly fails to enact the decisions referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

In case a complaint specified in paragraph 2 of this Article is justified, the court shall enact a decision to confirm the termination of a councilor’s mandate or to verify the mandate to a new councillor.

Every councillor shall be entitled to lodge an appeal as specified in paragraph 2 of this Article.

The appeal shall be lodged within 48 hours from the enactment of the decision of the assembly of the local self-government unit or, respectively, the session on which the assembly failed to enact decisions referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

Article 50

Repeated elections shall be held if the Election Commission or the competent District Court invalidates the elections due to irregularities, prescribed by this Law.

If the elections are invalidated for certain polling stations, the vote shall be repeated only in these polling stations.

At the polling stations where the election procedure was not respected in accordance with this Law, elections shall be repeated within seven days from the verification of irregularities in the election procedure, in the manner and procedures established for the conduct of elections.

Repeated elections shall be annocunced by the Election Commission.

Repeated elections shall be held according to the list of candidates verified for the elections that were annuled, unless the elections were annuled due to irregularities in verifying the electoral list.

In case of repeated elections, the final election results shall be verified upon the completion of the repeated voting.

6. Protection of Electoral Rights

Article 51

Each voter, candidate for councillor and proposer of a candidate shall be entitled to the protection of his/her electoral rights, according to the procedure stipulated by this Law.

Article 52

Every voter, candidate for councillor and proposer of a candidate shall be entitled to lodge an objection with the Election Commission of the local self-government unit over irregularities in the candidacy procedure, conducting of the elections, as well as over the ascertainment and announcement of the election results.

The objection shall be lodged within 24 hours from the day of the decision, action or omission.

Article 53

The Election Commission shall take a decision within 48 hours from the receipt of the objection and submit the said decision to the objector.

If the Election Commission of the local self-government unit approves the objection, it shall invalidate the decision or the action.

Article 54

The complaint against the decision of the Election Commission may be filed with the competent District Court within 24 hours of the delivery of the decision.

The Election Commission shall deliver to the court without delay and no later than within 12 hours all the necessary information and records for taking a decision.

In election right protection proceedings, the Court shall accordingly apply the provisions of the law governing administrative proceedings.

The decision upon the appeal shall be taken no later than 48 hours from the receipt of the appeal with records.

The decision taken in the appeal proceedings shall be final and may not be subject to a request for exeptional review of court decision, nor for repeting the proceedings, specified by the Law on Administrative Disputes.

Article 55

If the court approves the appeal, it shall invalidate the decision or action in the procedures of proposing the candidate or election of the councillor, respectively, or it shall invalidate the election of the councillor.

If the Court decides that the contested decision should be invalidated, if appropriate and if the ascertained facts provide reliable grounds for it, the Court may take a meritorious decision solving the election dispute. The decision of the court shall fully replace the invalidated enactment.

If upon objection or appeal, respectively, an action in the election procedure or the election of the councillor has been invalidated, the Election Commission shall repeat the said election action or, respectively, the elections in the term for repeated elections prescribed by this Law. The said term will start as of the day of enacting the decision on the invalidation.

Article 56

The mandate of the councillor shall start on the day of the confirmation of the mandate.

The confirmation of the mandate shall be decided upon by the assembly on its constitutive session.

The constitutive session of the assembly shall be called for by the speaker of the assembly from the previous composition within 15 days from the announcement of election results.

The constitutive session shall be chaired by the oldest councillor, who shall be also authorized to convoke the constitutive session in case the speaker of the assembly from the previous composition fails to do so in the legally prescribed terms.

The confirmation of the mandate of the councillor, on the basis of the verification committee report, shall be decided upon by the assembly by public vote. Entitled to participate in the vote shall be the councillors whose mandates have been assigned in accordance with Article 43 of this Law and who have received a certificate of election by the Election Commission of the local self-government unit.

When upon its constitution the assembly decides on the verification of mandates of new councillors, the candidates whose mandates have been assigned in accordance with Article 48 of this Law and who have a certificate of election by the Election Commission of the local self-government unit, shall also be entitled to participate in the vote

Against the decision on verification of councillors’ mandates a complaint may be filed with the District Court within 48 hours from the endorsement of the decision by the assembly of the local self-government unit.

7. Costs of Elections

Article 57

Assets for conducting the elections and financing activities related to the elections of councillors of the assembly of a local self-government unit shall be ensured in the budget of the of the local self-government unit.

Applications and actions in the election procedure shall not be subject to a fee.

8. Application of Regulations on the Election of Members of Parliament

Article 58

The provisions of the Law on the Election of Members of Parliament ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", no. 35/00, 57/03 – Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia, 72/03 – other law, 75/03 – correction of other law, 18/04, 85/05 – other law and 101/05 – other law) on voters’ registers, balloting material, appointment to the Election Commission and election committees, polling stations, informing the citizens on the candidates, ban on duration of election propaganda and announcement of early results or estimates of election results, voting, ascertaining and announcement of election results, tax and charge exemption for funds paid as fees for work of persons in electoral bodies and fines, shall accordingly apply to the election of councillors, unless provided for otherwise by this Law.

III. INTERIM AND CLOSING PROVISIONS

Article 59

The provisions of this Law on the election of councillors of assemblies of local self-government units shall be applied as of the first following elections for councillors of assemblies of local self-government units in all units of local self-government.

Article 60

The first elections for councillors of assemblies of local self-government units in all units of local self-government, upon entering into force of this Law, shall be convoked by the Speaker of the National Assembly, so as to be held no less than 120 days and no more than 180 days from the day when the elections were convoked.

Article 61

On the day of entering into force of this Law, the Law on Local Elections ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", no. 33/02, 37/02 - corrected, 42/02, 72/03 – other law, 75/03 – correction of other law, 100/03 – Constitutional Court and 101/05 – other law) shall cease to be valid.

Article 62

This Law will enter into force on the day of publication in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia".