MINSK, 25 November (BelTA) – While criticizing Belarus' electoral process, international observers should take note of positive things as well, Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said answering journalists' questions about the negative assessment of the recent parliamentary elections in Belarus on the part of the OSCE observers, BelTA has learned.
“It is important that a mission coming to monitor elections should not only criticize negative things related to electoral processes and voting results, but also pay attention to some positive things,” the minister said.
Vladimir Makei noted that he would not dramatize the OSCE's assessment of the Belarusian elections. “I think that our European partners will take this assessment into consideration while shaping their policy towards Belarus. However, I would like to reiterate: we were absolutely open while conducting these elections. Over a thousand observers representing various organizations and countries had an opportunity to monitor the elections at all polling stations. By the way, not all countries even in the European Union can boast capacities for international election observation,” he said.
The minister emphasized that the election assessment should be unbiased. “One should not be prejudiced and opinionated,” he said. According to Vladimir Makei, the OSCE mission representatives made negative remarks about the country. “It is wrong to appoint people who are biased against a country to such an important position as an observation mission chief. A country should not have issues with the person appointed as an observation mission chief,” the minister believes.
He assured that Belarus will continue a dialogue with its European and American partners, including in the matters related to electoral legislation improvement. “We are absolutely open for a dialogue and are ready for it. I think that we will finally come to terms,” Vladimir Makei noted. He assured that Belarus will submit its remarks to corresponding structures of the OSCE ODIHR regarding the work of the OSCE mission. “We hope that these remarks will be taken into account while drafting the final report on Belarus' parliamentary elections,” he said.
Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto thanked the Belarusian side, in particular, the government, for opening up the elections to international observation. “It is important for elections to proceed in an open and transparent environment,” he said. The minister emphasized the importance of the OSCE ODIHR recommendations for improving the electoral process.
“We need a dialogue with Belarus. If we want to have an impact on developments in this country, on its movement along the democratic track, the best way to do it is to meet and maintain a dialogue,” Sweden's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde said.