OSCE observers are anxious about CEC statements that 30% of people can vote in advance

2004 2004-10-01T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

OSCE Election observation mission states that it has to adapt its observation methods to the specific Belarusian environment – according to the Election Code it is allowed to vote in advance starting from 5 days before the elections. The Vice Chairperson of the Mission Ian Horvin says: “This is relatively unusual and CEC members tell us that possibly 20 or even 30 per cent of the electorate are expected to vote in advance”.

Next week a usual intermediate report of the OSCE Observation Mission will appear where those particular problems will be reflected on which international observers will mostly focus their attention. “There should be no surprises for the authorities”, noted the Head of the Mission Odry Glover and added about the content of the final report which will be published after the elections: “We will do it in the way when facts speak for themselves, and we want to have transparency from all the sides”.

Even though OSCE asked for 300 short-term international observers OSCE member countries managed to gather only 130 who will arrive not long before October 17. Besides, according to Mrs. Glover 50 diplomats working in Belarus on permanent basis will join them.

The lack of resources is one of the reasons why OSCE observers will not observe the Referendum on October 17. They will only estimate its influence on the elections.
Mrs. Glover added that OSCE observers noticed abolishing of registration of some of the candidates and they were present at the meetings of CEC and Supreme Court. Reflection of the election campaign on TV also is one of the parts of the Mission’s work in Belarus. Nevertheless, OSCE representatives noticed that unknown people are watching them as well: “Certain additional attention was given to some members of the Mission and we do not exactly who those people are”.