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The statement of the Coordination Committee of The Belarusian National Platform the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the 2019 Belarusian parliamentary election

22.11.2019 Source: Прэс-служба ГА "Беларуская асацыяцыя журналістаў"

Minsk 21 October 2019

The Coordination Committee of The BNP EaP CSF, in which more than 80 civil society organisations are included based on:

● The Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions of the Mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

● The research report of the “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” civil campaign

● Interim reports of the “Right to Choose” observation campaign

● The parliamentary elections’ media coverage monitoring conducted by the Belarusian Association of Journalists assume that the elections’ process of the candidates for the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus the seventh convocation did not comply with the international requirements and national legislation. In particular:

● The election committee did not include the majority of the opposition political parties’ and independent civil society organisations’ representatives applied.

● Predominantly opposition applicants were refused to register the candidates or their registration was eliminated by the election committee for formal reasons.

● Equal access conditions of all the candidates and the State Media were absent.

● The procedure of the early voting remained intransparent. Unknown people were noticed entering the premises of one of the polling stations at nighttime. Ballot-box stuffing was noticed. A number of voters were compelled to participate in the early voting.

● The procedure of the votes’ counting remained intransparent for the observers.

● Journalists of independent media’s work was obstructed.

Proceeding from the facts mentioned above, the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum:

● declare not to accept the elections of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus the seventh convocation as democratic, free and fair,

● express regret that Belarus did not use the chance to move closer towards the international standards of the elections’ procedures,

● calls upon the Belarusian government to implement the recommendations of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,

● calls upon the European Union government and the European Commission to reinforce the issue of the elections in Belarus in accordance with the international standards on the agenda of bilateral (EU-Belarus Coordination Group and Human Rights Dialogue) and multilateral meetings within the Eastern Partnership. The Coordination Committee of the BNP EaP CSF