2009 22/01

ОБСЕAmbassador Janez Lenarcic, the Director of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), arrives to Minsk on January 22 to discuss recommendations for improvements to Belarus’ electoral framework.

“During the two-day visit, Lenarcic will meet Foreign Minister Syarhei Martynauv, the head of the Presidential Administration, Uladzimir Makei, the chairperson of the Central Election Commission, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, and other high-level officials. He will also meet representatives of political parties and civil society,” the Minsk OSCE office reports.

“Lenarcic will discuss follow-ups to the recommendations included in ODIHR’s final report on last year’s parliamentary elections in Belarus,” the OSCE representatives stressed.

As we have informed, in ODIHR’s final report on last year’s parliamentary elections in Belarus it was stated that despite of “some minor improvements, which could indicate a step forward”, “further substantial efforts are required if Belarus is to conduct genuinely democratic elections in line with OSCE commitments.” “The Electoral Code does not provide any clear mechanism for securely keeping the ballot boxes after the start of the five-day early voting period, nor does it provide specific regulations for enhancing the integrity of the ballot”, the report underlines. A number of nominees were denied registration for minor breaches of formal requirements, the report reads. These outstanding issues “allow the possibility of electoral malfeasance”.

Source: www.charter97.org

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