2009 05/08

bdipchBelarusian democrats meet in Warsaw with representatives of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. They discussed changing the electoral legislation in Belarus.

The ODIHR was represented by Konrad Olszewski, deputy director of ODIHR’s election department, and Mats Lindberg responsible for Belarus; Belarus was represented by head of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka and secretary of the Central Committee of the Party of Communists Alena Skryhan.

“The ODIHR intents to base on the final document on evaluation of the results of elections to the house of representatives and proposals of the United Democratic Forces on improving the electoral legislation, “ Anatol Lyabedzka said. “The ODIHR named seven conditions necessary for democratic legislation in the document passed to the national legislative center under the “house of representatives” in February. They are, in particular, including representatives of different political forces in electoral commissions, the right for observers to re-count ballots, absence of barriers for electoral propaganda, strict control over early voting.”

The ODIHR expressed a hope that the Belarusian authorities would work out their position by summer holidays, but they did nothing since February.

The ODIHR representatives said if the recommendations were not taken into account or were only cosmetic and dotted, the experts of the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission would give negative estimation of the draft law.

“We think this approach is right,” Lyabedzka noted.

We remind that on May 27, head of the OSCE Office in Minsk Hans-Jochen Schmidt told head of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) wouldn’t consider the proposals of changing the Electoral Code of Belarus prepared by experts and agreed by the democratic coalition.

Ambassador Hans-Jochen Schmidt has recently given an interview to BelaPAN agency that aroused a storm of criticism in relation to the diplomat. In particular, ambassador Schmidt said he didn’t think the respect for human rights was a prior issue, but the president of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus told opening the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly that respect for human rights catalysed the changes in the post-Soviet countries and in Eastern Europe.

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