EU voices concern over local elections

2010 2010-04-28T20:53:22+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The 27-nation bloc calls on the Belarusian authorities to continue their dialogue with the OSCE for improving the country's electoral regulations, according to the statement.

The statement said that the amendments introduced to Belarus' Electoral Code ahead of the elections had the "welcome intention of increasing the transparency of the voting process and encouraging a broader range of population to be involved in electoral procedures."

However, the European Union pointed to "several vulnerabilities in the implementation of the electoral law which should be addressed in further dialogue with the OSCE."

"There were inconsistencies in accessing information about the separate results relating to the early vote, the mobile vote, and the main vote," the statement said. "When such information was made available, it highlighted, in some cases, sharp discrepancies between the early voting, which took place from 20-24 April, and the voting which took place on the actual election day, 25 April."

EU diplomats visited more than 140 polling stations in Minsk and the provinces in the capacity of observers. Some of them were given access to the vote count.

As many as 5,591,264 residents of Belarus, or 79.5 percent of all eligible voters, cast their ballots in the elections, according to the central election commission. As many as 2,067,069 voted early and 3,077,447 cast ballots on the main voting day.