The last two years has seen a radical shift in political power in Montenegro, with new political leadership entering government in 2020 for the first time in the country’s independence. This shift has led to renewed vigor in strengthening democratic and good governance processes. IFES focuses on strengthening anti-corruption efforts and promoting digital security to address disinformation in social media. Since 1997, IFES has supported electoral stakeholders to strengthen the electoral process in Montenegro, with particular focus on electoral reform, legal frameworks, voter education and anti-corruption. IFES has partnered with election commissions, state institutions, civil society and media outlets to improve cooperation and promote secure elections.
IFES is engaging the Center for Monitoring and Research in Montenegro (CeMI) to shift incentives around implementation of international and regional anti-corruption standards and commitments. With technical assistance, coordination and advocacy support, CeMI is strengthening the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption’s approach to monitoring and control of political finance during election campaigns. They are also engaging with the Council of Europe and the Montenegrin judiciary on enhancing transparency and disciplinary processes.
Under a “Global Election Integrity” program funded by Facebook, IFES is also supporting CeMI’s efforts to monitor social media for evidence of abuse of state resources and instances of mis- and disinformation in electoral campaigns. Lessons from this project are being leveraged to raise voter awareness of online election violations and to inform parallel monitoring initiatives among a growing civil society network in Eastern Europe working for transparent and fair elections.