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Interagency group ready to study OSCE's recommendations for Belarus

Politics 12.02.2016 | 18:27

MINSK, 12 February (BelTA) – The Central Election Commission of Belarus has set up an interagency group of experts, who will look into the OSCE's recommendations and will work out proposals concerning their implementation, BelTA learned from Secretary of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Nikolai Lozovik.

Nikolai Lozovik said: “Negotiations with all the CEC members have been finished. We have issued the resolution to set up an interagency group of experts for looking into OSCE ODIHR recommendations concerning the improvement of the election process in Belarus.” In accordance with the resolution the Central Election Commission will set up a group of experts that will involve representatives of the CEC, the National Center for Legislation and Legal Research, the Justice Ministry, the Information Ministry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The experts are expected to analyze recommendations given by the OSCE ODIHR in the final report made by the mission sent to observe the Belarus president election in 2015. The analysis will result in proposals on ways to improve the election process. The proposals will be submitted for consideration of the Central Election Commission and will be reported to the head of state. Nikolai Lozovik said that the group of experts is expected to primarily consider the proposals that can be implemented even before the parliamentary elections in 2016. In other words, without changing the legislation but by only adopting CEC resolutions, by improving the law application practice. These norms can be laid down as guidelines that the CEC is developing now, can be distributed via training sessions for members of polling station commissions for the sake of improving the transparency and openness of the election process. “The next step may be the development of proposals on amending the legislation, the Election Code, and the Constitution. It is a lengthier process,” noted the official.

The establishment of the expert group was discussed during the meeting of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Lidia Yermoshina on 12 February. The head of state gave the relevant instructions.

In particular, Lidia Yermoshina said that the first session will be held on 16 February. The expert group's operation will be overseen by the Central Election Commission. After one month the group will have to present recommendations or proposals concerning the views expressed by the OSCE at the end of the Belarus president election campaign in 2015.

The organizing session of the interagency expert group will begin at 12:00. Representatives of mass media are invited to attend. Applications are to be submitted to the Central Election Commission's reception office.

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