Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт

ODIHR releases final report on Belarus parliamentary elections

Following the early parliamentary elections in Belarus on 17 November 2019, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has published its final report. The report offers 32 recommendations to improve the conduct of elections and increase the transparency of and public confidence in the electoral process.

Key recommendations include:

  • Comprehensively review the electoral legal framework to address prior ODIHR recommendations, including on the composition of election commissions, candidacy rights, observers’ rights, and safeguards for voting, counting and tabulation procedures.
  • Align legislation regulating freedoms of association, assembly and expression with international standards.
  • Ensure the right of individuals and groups to establish political parties or organizations without undue restrictions, and with the power to compete with each other on an equal basis.
  • Introduce clear criteria and mechanisms for candidate registration, to enhance inclusiveness and transparency and avoid disqualification resulting from minor inaccuracies in documentation.
  • Remove fees for holding public events, including those held by any electoral stakeholders before, during and after elections.
  • Introduce sufficient safeguards to ensure the integrity of early voting and election day procedures and materials.
  • Implement clear and transparent procedures for counting ballots so that all present can verify that results are counted genuinely and reported honestly.

ODIHR deployed an Election Observation Mission on 15 October 2019 to observe the early parliamentary elections. All 57 countries across the OSCE region have formally committed to following up promptly on ODIHR’s election assessments and recommendations.