MINSK, 19 November (BelTA) – The assessment of Belarus' parliamentary elections by the observers of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is not entirely objective, Sergei Lebedev, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary, the head of the CIS mission to monitor the elections in Belarus, told reporters, BelTA has learned.
“We expected such an assessment. In our view, it is not entirely impartial. The shortcomings in the election administration were rare and insignificant. Sometimes a human factor interfered when members of precinct election commissions showed sloppiness in relation to voters. However these incidents were few and far between. Naturally, they cannot question the fact that the elections were democratic and open,” Sergei Lebedev said.
The CIS mission chief underlined that such a position of western observers raises eyebrow. “I heard what opposition said on Oktyabrskaya Square and on Svobody Square when they went hysterical saying that there is no freedom, including freedom of expression in Belarus. My friends, it is a blatant self-contradiction. You are standing on the central square in Minsk speaking your mind mincing no words and you assert that you are muzzled. But this is a downright lie. Unfortunately, the bias demonstrated by western observers and the determination to assess the elections negatively are bewildering,” Sergei Lebedev said.
He added that the assessment given by the CIS mission remains unchanged. “Yesterday we had another look at the reports coming from Belarusian regions during early voting and on election day. The picture has not changed. The assessments we voiced at yesterday's press conference remain valid and relevant. We have not received information that could have an impact on the mission's findings. We are glad that the elections to the House of Representatives were well organized and smooth,” he said.