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15 July 2020, 20:25

MFA invites international observers to monitor Belarus presidential election

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 15 July (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent invitations to international election observation organizations, Anatoly Glaz, Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters, BelTA has learned.

Anatoly Glaz commented on reports that said that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is not going to monitor Belarus' presidential election. He answered a question whether Belarus invited observers.

“Indeed, to be honest, ODIHR's decision was disappointing and unexpected. We really hope that this decision will be revised. After all, today, a day after the registration of presidential candidates, in line with earlier public statements, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent invitations to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These are our traditional partners in election observation. We remain strongly committed to our promises and obligations, including within the framework of the OSCE,” Anatoly Glaz said.

He emphasized that Belarus has never held elections without observation. “This time we were also determined to invite OSCE/ODIHR observers after the candidate registration. It was announced publicly on numerous occasions, we informed our western partners, senior officials of the Office and personally Ingibjorg Gisladottir about it. We are absolutely transparent in this context and this can be double-checked,” the spokesman said.

In the coming days the National Assembly is expected to send invitations to parliamentary organizations, like the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union State, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“Naturally, the coronavirus pandemic affected many plans, including ODIHR's election monitoring activities. We have not had such a situation before. We have carefully analyzed the experience of other participating states that have held elections in recent months. ODIHR has sent special observation missions consisting of several experts to all or almost all of these countries. Of course, international observers and other participants of the electoral process will have to stick to certain epidemiological measures that we have developed jointly with the Healthcare Ministry and the Central Election Commission, as well as respective recommendations of WHO,” Anatoly Glaz said.

He emphasized that Belarus remains open for international observation and is ready to offer all the necessary conditions for efficient work of foreign observers at the upcoming election.

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