Human rights activists issue statement on start of observation campaign
The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus has scheduled the presidential election for 19 December 2010. Under Article 81 of the Belarusian Constitution, ‘the President shall be elected directly by the people of the Republic of Belarus for a term of office of five years by universal, free, equal, direct and secret ballot.’
The presidential election is a major political and social event and tends to arouse huge interest by the subjects of political process, representatives of the civil society and Belarusian citizens. Besides, the presidential election is a major examination of democracy in Belarus, affecting the country’s reputation worldwide.
Bearing in mind the importance of the presidential election, we, representatives of Belarusian human rights organizations – the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ – are announcing the start of the ‘Human Rights Defenders for Free Election’ campaign.
The campaign is aimed at maintaining observation of the presidential election, assessing the electoral process in its compliance with the Belarusian electoral legislation and the international standards for free and democratic elections, as well as communicating of information on our conclusions to both Belarusian society and international community.
The observation will be maintained by the members of the above-mentioned organizations in accordance with current legislation.
The long-term observation of every stage of the election will be maintained by 80 observers across the country. The long-term observers will apply for registration to territorial election commissions.
The voting procedures will be observed by 600 short-term observers at 300 polling stations across the country. Especial attention will be paid to voter turn-out.
The ‘Human Rights Defenders for Free Election’ campaign is independent and not affiliated with any political force. We do not represent political parties or any other political agents, including the presidential hopefuls. The election procedures will be assessed with maximum impartiality, on the basis of the principles of free, democratic and transparent elections, which could enable the Belarusian people to fully implement their Constitutional right to take part in the government of their country and elect the head of State.
Minsk, 16 September 2010