Vintsuk Vyachorka: ODIHR OSCE Director said he won’t “dance” with Belarusian government

2009 2009-01-23T18:34:02+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A meeting of Ambassador Janez Lenarcic, the Director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), with representatives of opposition has been held in Minsk.

As the Charter’97 press-centre has been informed by the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party Vintsuk Vyachorka, the aim of Janez Lenarcic’s visit to Minsk was to fashion the actions of the Belarusian government in cooperation with the OSCE concerning democratisation of the country.

Among the oppositionists who have taken part in the meeting are: the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Vintsuk Vyachorka, the leader of “For Freedom” movement Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, the chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Mikola Statkevich, the chairman of the Belarusian Democratic Party (Hramada) Anatol Lyaukovich, the chairman of the Party of Communists of Belarus Syarhei Kalyakin and the head of Minsk office of the OSCE Hans-Johan Schmidt and some other representatives of the OSCE.

The view of the ODIHR OSCE Office director on the “parliamentary elections” held in Belarus last September is critical.

“The director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights voiced a critical, to put it mildly, evaluation of September events”, Vintsuk Vyachorka said.

“Janez Lenarcic noted that the OSCE, as well as the ODIHR, works with the government, as it is an intergovernmental organisation; but similarly with political parties and public organisations, as they can play an important role in changing electoral legislation,” the deputy chairman of the BPF party stressed.

However for the OSCE practical changes in the legislation are important, and swiftness of the changes, and not only pretty words of the regime about their readiness to change it.

“The ODIHR OSCE representative has noted that the Belarusian authorities stated their readiness to change the legislation. But it is extremely important for that to be implemented in practice. The OSCE expects the texts of amendments to be prepared in the nearest months. That is, before the end of the “probation period”, he added.

“If no real steps would be done for amendment of the legislation, primarily the electoral one, all words about “readiness” have no weight. Besides, as stated by the ODIHR OSCE Director, the election means the environment in the country in general. Not only goods laws, but their practical implementation are important,” he continued.

Vintsuk Vyachorka attracted attention of the ODIHR OSCE Director to the fact that though there are no new politically motivated criminal cases in Belarus, but there are persons restricted to travel abroad on political reasons, call-ups to the army of those who are unfit according their state of health, with the aim to stop political activities of such people; participants of peaceful protests are under home arrest.

Besides, ungrounded obstacles for political parties’ work should be lifted, Janez Lenarcic explained.

“Political parties should have a possibility to act legally, and not gather in private apartments only because a party is not allowed to register its office,” the politician said.

As said by the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party, Janez Lenarcic put a special emphasis on the fact that no matter how wonderful the legislation could be, it does not make sense without practical application.

“The ODIHR OSCE recommendations to the Belarusian authorities completely coincide with the recommendations of the democratic forces,” the politician noted.

“I cannot “dance” with the government while Belarusian citizens cannot gather to initiate legislation,” Vintsuk Vyachorka quoted the negative response of Janez Lenarcic to the denial of the regime to offer political parties premises for holding a meeting concerning making amendments to the Electoral legislation of Belarus.