West doesn’t recognize the farce of Lukashenka
14:29, — Politics
The elections in Belarus were neither free nor impartial.
That is the essence of the preliminary report of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.
The report was presented on 24 September at a briefing in Minsk. The final report of the OSCE observers is planned to be prepared in the next two month, BelaPAN reports.
“Many responsibilities in the framework of the OSCE regarding democratic rights of the citizens for free running as a candidate and the possibility to freely express opinions were not followed”, - the report says.
“The elections were not held impartially and the appellation process didn’t guarantee an effective means for protection”, - the observers highlight.
“The elections were not competitive from the very beginning”, - the short-term OSCE mission’s head Mateo Mecacci said. – Free elections depend on the people’s possibility speak freely and freely run for office and organize themselves, which we didn’t see in that campaign”.
At the same time he highlighted: “We are still ready to work with Belarus on taking the next necessary steps, which is in our mutual interest”.
In the OSCE they hope that their office will be able open again in Belarus.
In his turn, the head of the ODIHR OSCE’s mission Antonio Miloshski pointed out: “Absence of neutrality and impartiality of the electoral commissions seriously undermine public trust to the electoral process. Citizens must be sure that their votes are counted fairly. But the lack of clear procedures of counting and possibilities for observers to watch it in order to confirm the results cause serious concerns”.
The OSCE observers also note: “Despite the increased number of candidates from political parties, famous political figures, which could have played their role were either in prison or not registered because of the previous convictions that they have”.
Apart from that, in the observers’ opinion, “despite some improvements to the electoral legislation in 2010 and 2011, the legislative framework still doesn’t guarantee having an election in correspondence with the responsibilities taken by the country within the OSCE and international standards”.
“The electoral campaign was barely noticeable during the whole four weeks, - the report says. – Despite the fact that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to freely express oneself and there’s a sufficient number of media in the country, the campaign’s coverage didn’t show a wide variety of opinions. The candidates calling for boycotting the elections were denied free access to the media or their speeches were censored. The media’s focus was on Lukashenka and the government with only little attention to the parliamentary candidates”.
The document also notes: “While the early voting and the voting on the day of the elections were characterized positively, the process significantly deteriorated during the counting”.
Photo by Reuters
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