Minsk - Top officials from the Belarusian Central Elections Commission (CEC) view as unsubstantiated some of the conclusions the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission to Belarus made in a preliminary report on the September 23 parliamentary elections.
“The Central Elections Commission pointed out that the mission reflected both some shortcomings in the election campaign and positive changes that have occurred in the election law and the way this law is applied in Belarus. At the same time, the CEC members noted that some conclusions made by the mission are not substantiated enough,” CEC Secretary Nikolai Lozovik told Interfax following a Friday meeting between CEC top officials and Antonio Milososki, the head of the OSCE/ODIHR mission.
The participants in the meeting discussed preparations for drawing up a final OSCE/ODIHR report. “We noted that, in the previous elections, the final report radically differed from the preliminary one, and it differed for the worse, too,” Lozovik said.
“Mr. Milososki said he hoped that the facts that the mission members found themselves, both positive and negative ones, will be included in the final report and that he will do all he can for this,” he said.
Lozovik said Milososki informed the Belarusian officials that “Mr. Mecacci [Matteo Mecacci, a special coordinator who led the OSCE short-term election observation in Belarus] made official apologies to Belarus for expressing some conclusions that were not based on real facts.”
Lozovik said Milososki also thanked the CEC and government bodies for “providing all the necessary conditions for the mission’s operations and for the fact that the observers had unimpeded access to virtually any information they wanted to obtain.”
Belarusian voters elected 109 out of the 110 deputies to the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly in the September 23 elections.
The CIS observation mission found the Belarusian elections to be free, democratic and complying with the national law.
Mecacci said the elections were not free and open from the very start.