OSCE elections body deploys election observation mission to Belarus

WARSAW/MINSK, 12 August 2008 - The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) deployed an election observation mission today for the 28 September parliamentary elections in Belarus.

The mission, headed by Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens, consists of 15 international experts based in Minsk. In addition, 41 long-term observers will be deployed throughout the country from 19 August. The core team and long-term observers come from 22 OSCE participating States.

The mission will assess the elections for compliance with principles for democratic electoral processes, including commitments agreed to by all 56 OSCE participating States, as well as national legislation.

Observers will closely monitor campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant governmental bodies, election-related legislation and its implementation, the media environment, and the resolution of election-related disputes.

ODIHR has requested 300 short-term observers to be deployed throughout the country shortly before election day to monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.

The election observation mission and the OSCE Office in Minsk operate separately under their specific mandates.



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