MINSK, 23 August (BelTA) – The invitation of foreign election observers from different international organizations demonstrates the openness of Belarus, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media on 23 August, BelTA has learned.
“We have sent invitations to all our partners who observe elections. The parliament has also sent invitations to parliamentary structures,” the minister said.
The OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission will be working in Belarus in the coming days to study the pre-election situation, the number of constituencies, the possible number of observers (both short- and long-term) that will be needed for the observation of the elections. “The corresponding decisions will be taken. It is a usual routine. Expressing readiness for international cooperation, from the very first days (almost on the day the date for the elections was announced) we sent invitations to all the international election observation organizations. This shows the openness of Belarus,” Vladimir Makei said.
“Perhaps, the ODIHR will send a certain group of observers in advance, some 30 days ahead of the elections. The core group, short-term observers, will come several days prior to the elections. These are usually some 300-400 specialists. We have never limited and are not going to limit these numbers,” the minister stressed.
He added that, apart from OSCE/ODIHR, invitations had been also sent to the SCO and the CIS, and also in the line of inter-parliamentary interaction. Quite a big number of foreign nationals always show their interest in being individual observers. “We will consider the issue in line with our laws,” Vladimir Makei said.
Belarus will act in strict compliance with the national legislation. “There are persons who have nothing to do with election observation and use it for political ends. These are some self-created structures. We will do everything in accordance with the Belarusian legislation, basing on its provisions and in cooperation with the Central Election Commission and our parliament,” the minister said.
Speaking about the estimated total number of international observers who may come to the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the minister said that this depends on some factors. “This depends on the election campaigns that are underway in other countries, the potential of the ODIHR or the CIS headquarters to send observers,” he said.