COPENHAGEN, 6 November 2019 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is deploying some 80 observers, including 60 parliamentarians, to Belarus next week for the 17 November parliamentary elections.
Swedish parliamentarian and OSCE PA Vice-President Margareta Cederfelt will serve as Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, following an appointment by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak. Cederfelt has led OSCE PA election observation delegations to Georgia, Italy, Tajikistan, and Turkey, and was a Special Co-ordinator of the OSCE short-term observer mission to Montenegro.
“As election observers, we have been here before – OSCE election observation in Belarus dates back to 1995, and we have regularly observed since that time,” said Cederfelt today. “We have also regularly identified issues of concern following our observation missions and formulated concrete recommendations suggesting how to strengthen the country’s electoral system. The elections we will observe now present a fresh opportunity for Belarus to deliver on previous recommendations and to demonstrate its commitment to upholding OSCE democratic commitments.”
OSCE PA President George Tsereteli has appointed Albanian parliamentarian Ditmir Bushati to serve as Head of the OSCE PA’s observer mission.
“We are a large team of observers, strong not only in numbers but also in experience and expertise,” said Bushati. “While we come from many different countries and political viewpoints, we are unified in our commitment to offering a full and impartial assessment of these elections.”
Bushati is an experienced diplomat who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2013 to 2019 and is currently Head of the Albanian Delegation to the OSCE PA.
For the 17 November parliamentary elections, the OSCE PA will work closely with observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. They will deliver the post-election statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference in Minsk on 18 November.
This will be the tenth election the OSCE PA has observed in Belarus since 1995.
For previous assessments of Belarus elections, please click here.