ENEMO observers still unwelcome in Belarus
The Belarusian Central Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not yet replied to a request asking for the invitation of an ENEMO mission to observe the parliamentary elections scheduled for September 11, according to ENEMO Secretariat.
The requests were sent back in June. “However, we have not received any reply from them, not even an email,” ENEMO said.
Ahead of last year’s presidential election, the CEC rejected ENEMO’s bid, saying that “international organizations are invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” while the Foreign Ministry, in turn, gave no answer.
It should be noted that the authorities have never invited ENEMO to observe elections in Belarus, despite the network’s strong reputation in Central and Eastern Europe, monitoring votes in many countries of the former Soviet Union: Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and in some of the Balkan countries, in particular Kosovo, that is, in those places where there really is a need to monitor the elections.
Unlike other international election observation missions, ENEMO is a network of non-governmental organizations from different countries of Central and Eastern Europe, who are professionally engaged in election observation and are independent, politically unaffiliated NGOs. Perhaps it is these peculiarities that prevent the official Minsk from allowing ENEMO to come to Belarus.
The European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) is an international network of 23 leading non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental organizations from 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It includes two NGOs from Belarus: the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, which since 2008 have been engaged in national election observation in the framework of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections".