The campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” is calling on both national and international experts to be engaged in a wide public debate on the implementation of recommendations made by observers in order to improve the electoral legislation of Belarus.
On September 22, Belarusian human rights defenders arranged a side event at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw to report on the results of parliamentary elections held in the country on September 11.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, says despite the admission of a token oppositionist there was no real difference between last Sunday’s parliamentary elections and all the previous ones carried out in Belarus.
The campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections summed up yesterday the results of monitoring the elections of deputies of the House of Representatives of the 6th convocation. At a press conference in Minsk, the campaign coordinators Aleh Hulak (Belarusian Helsinki Committee) and Uladzimir Labkovich (Human Rights Center "Viasna") presented their assessment of the parliamentary election campaign.
The elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections, as well as the country’s electoral legislation. First of all, the findings are due to the lack of equal access to state media for all candidates, lack of impartiality of election commissions, facts of abuse of administrative resources in favor of the pro-government candidates, numerous facts of forcing voters to participate in early voting, non-transparency of some election procedures for observers.
On September 11, the parliamentary elections will culminate in Election Day, which, in turn, will end with vote counting, a procedure of extreme secrecy, according to election officials. Meanwhile, it is the vote count that has traditionally triggered fierce criticism of both domestic and international observers, not to speak of opposition candidates running for Parliament. The observers’ recommendations are that the vote counting procedure needs more transparency.