Official plays up CIS standards for international election observation


Belarus’ top election official said that international election observation met world standards only within the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

“All that is done outside the Commonwealth is limited missions, some fictitious symbol of international observation taking place,” Lidziya Yarmoshyna told reporters in Minsk on December 17.

“A 20-strong mission visiting the United States or a 12-strong mission visiting Poland can hardly be called observers,” she said.

Full-scale international election observation missions work only in the framework of the CIS. “The Commonwealth’s countries have the biggest experience of international election observation,” Ms. Yarmoshyna noted.

The official said that a document similar to the declaration on the principles of international election monitoring adopted by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly would hardly be ever adopted in the framework of the OSCE. “Because it will place too strict obligations of its fulfillment on Western democracies. The OSCE does not intend to introduce standards for election processes in old democracies on a deeper level,” Ms. Yarmoshyna said. //BelaPAN