On July 12 civil society activists held a protest action in front of the OSCE building in Vienna. They expressed their protest against Lidziya Yarmoshyna’s visit to the capital of Austria. The leaflet with Yarmoshyna’s portrait on it was given directly into her hands.
Such walkouts aim at drawing public attention to election fraud problem in Belarus where not a single election campaign was declared open or fair, the organisers stressed. One more similar action is expected to take place on July, 13.
The Head of the Belarusian Central Election Commission is participating in the two-day Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Democratic Elections and Election Observation. According to Thomas Rymer, spokesperson for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights that organized the conference, LidziyaYarmoshyna had received no personal invitation to the event; only keynote speakers receive personal invitations to such conferences, while other participants have to simply get registered on the OSCE website.
It is the Austrian embassy in Moscow that granted a visa to the Belarusian CEC Head who is banned from travelling to the EU member states.
Lidziya Yarmoshyna has been Chairwoman of the CEC since 1996. On 10 April 2006, following the 2006 presidential election in Belarus, she was placed on a list of over 40 members of the Belarusian government banned from entering the European Union and the United States for allegedly participating in the manipulation of the results of the presidential election.
On 15 December 2010, presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau lodged a legal complaint application to the Central Election Commission of Belarus, demanding they remove Yarmoshyna from her office as Chairperson. He cited that her position was illegal, as Yermoshyna was a member of incumbent Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s political team, compromising her neutrality. The complaints were ineffective.