The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will not be able to send observers to the presidential election in Belarus, Chairman of the Standing Committee on International Affairs of the House of Representatives Andrei Savinykh told TUT.BY.
The deputy stressed that the Belarusian parliamentarians are interested in inviting foreign colleagues to the elections. “But the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has already said that it will not be able to send its observers. This is due to the epidemiological situation,” Savinykh explained.
Recall that whether international observers will observe the election in Belarus was in the air till the last moment. In mid-June, Chairwoman of Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC) Lidia Yermoshina said that Belarus would invite international observers after registering presidential candidates.
A little later, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that Belarus still does not refuse to invite international observers, but will take into account the epidemiological situation. On 2 July, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus “defeated the coronavirus”.
International observers, as a rule, indicate a number of violations during the campaign in Belarus.
For example, OSCE observers repeatedly criticized the practice of mass early voting in Belarusian elections for the inability to ensure full control over the contents of ballots and the usage of the administrative resource when organizing an early turnout.
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After the parliamentary elections in 2016, the OSCE issued 32 recommendations on how to make the elections in Belarus fairer, but the CEC did not take them into full account.
Following the parliamentary elections last year, OSCE observers said the parliamentary elections in Belarus showed “a complete lack of compliance with democratic commitments.” The EU called the past elections “a missed opportunity.”