Boban Stojanović

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University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences


Personal or Party Electoral Campaigns in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo* - Empirical Findings

The main hypothesis of this paper is that candidates who run for elections - run extremely party-oriented campaigns, not personal ones. We test this hy­pothesis with the help of empirical research (Comparative Candidate Survey), which was conducted in 2015. In the survey, 656 (268 - Serbia, 95 - Bosnia and Herzegovina, 136 - Montenegro and 157 - Kosovo*) respondents were inter­viewed. The electoral institution that is associated most strongly with the theme of our research is the design of the electoral ballots. In terms of the closure form of the list (blocked lists - Serbia and Montenegro), it can be said that the candidates who are on the electoral list are discouraged from leading per­sonal campaigns and encouraged to direct activities during the election period at promoting the party and party leader. However, in countries with personal voting (not blocked lists - Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo*), the situation is the same. Through insight into the results of comparative research, we see that party campaigns are also dominant in systems with personalised ballots. Candidates for members of parliament only run party-based campaigns. The results of the research on the attitudes and actions of candidates for members of parliament in the last election campaign confirm this tendency. The influence of the party leader, the leadership campaign, obedience and loyalty to the lead­er of the party, and good relations with him/her are much more important for the candidates than contact with the voters and leading personal campaigns.