CEC amends regulations for observers after petition by BHC

2014 2014-02-19T14:48:40+0300 2014-02-19T14:48:40+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/cvk-shylda.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Central Commission for Elections and National Referendums granted today an appeal of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and amended its Regulation on the Delegation of Observers to Polling Stations. Observers can now be delegated by the central governing bodies of political parties and other public associations.

The decision was issued following a petition sent by the BHC in late January.

According to the CEC’s previous resolution of December 2013, national public associations and parties could only send observers to the CEC’s meetings, but not to the polling stations or to meetings of district and territorial election commissions, which are one of the key mechanisms in the management of elections.

Thus, lacking local offices, national associations and parties were simply deprived of the opportunity to arrange election observation across the country. But if the parties are obliged to have local branches, for NGOs it is a right.

The CEC earlier allowed political parties and national public associations to send observers to polling stations across the country, but this time it changed its approach because this aspect is not regulated by the law, and only depends on the position of the CEC itself.

As chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak said, “it is quite a positive step”.

The text of the decision has not yet been received by the human rights defenders, but they say it is entirely appropriate to the transparency of the electoral process.