Rash from Vienna to Minsk: notorious Ms Yarmoshyna to meet ODIHR mission

At the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension meeting in Vienna Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Head of the Central Election Commission, suggested the OSCE improve election observation.

According to her, she delivered a message containing a proposal of improving the OSCE instruction of election observation and adding a provision on appealing against OSCE missions’ findings.

The Belarusian elections issue was not opened at the meeting, she said. “The only thing did sound: why hadn’t NGO representative Karniayenka been allowed to attend the conference[he is travel banned by the Belarusian authorities – Belsat]. To be honest, on the following day some Ms. Slutskaya who works in Warsaw was present,” Yarmoshyna noted.

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.

Meanwhile, a needs assessment mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) arrives in Minsk today. “I am to meet up with them in the evening,” Lidziya Yarmoshyna said.

According to her, the ODIHR experts, who are scheduled to stay in Belarus three days, will determine the number of observers being deployed in Belarus to monitor the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the OSCE leadership will decide on the matter.

On July 11, 2012 Mikalai Lazavik, Secretary of the Central Election Commission, told reporters in Minsk that he was “internally opposed” to inviting the OSCE/ODIHR to observe the elections. According to Mr. Lazavik, he lost his faith in the impartiality of OSCE/ODIHR observation missions.

The parliamentary elections are to be held on September 23, 2012.



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