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Belarus to keep inviting OSCE observers to its elections

September 28, 2012, 18:59 UTC+3

The chief of the Belarussian Central Election Commission said that the observers this time were more tolerant than on previous such occasions

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MINSK, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Belarus will continue to invite observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to monitor its elections, the chief of the Belarussian Central Election Commission, Lidiya Yermoshina, told the media.

“It is always good to invite guests, because guests make the hosts more disciplined,” she said.

As for the activities of the ODIHR mission at the just-held parliamentary elections, Yermoshina said that the observers this time were more tolerant than on previous such occasions.

“I would point to many positive aspects in the activities of the ODIHR mission. They have learned to be more tolerant,” Yermoshina said.

Besides, she believes that at the just-held elections the OSCE caused less pressures.

“Whereas before there were some cases in which the mission’s members were causing pressures on the CEC officials and the district commissions,” this time “at the level of the mission’s leadership there were no such hints at all.”

About the OSCE ODIHR intermediate report Yermoshina said that it was “quite moderate and caused no special negative emotions.”

The sole item concerning the head of the CEC in person was the sole exception.

“There is a statement to the effect the CEC chief very often made statements to the mass media and offered political comments, thereby not letting the electorate make a conscious choice,” Yermoshina said. She dismissed such claims as “very unfair” and “running counter to the election code, which says that election authorities shall inform the electorate about their activity.

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