ENEMO observers are unwelcome in Belarus

The Belarusian Central Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus have not replied to a request asking to invite an ENEMO mission to observe the parliamentary elections.

This information was provided to the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” by the ENEMO Secretariat. Requests to the Central Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus have been sent back in June, but no reply was received, not even an email, not to mention the official letter, emphasized the representatives of the international organization. They recalled that ahead of the last year’s presidential election, the Central Election Commission at least replied to the similar ENEMO’s bid, saying that “international organizations are invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” while the Foreign Ministry, in turn, gave no answer.

It should be noted that the Belarusian authorities have never invited ENEMO mission to observe elections in Belarus, despite the fact that this European observers’ network has strong reputation in Central and Eastern Europe and conducts monitoring in many countries of the former Soviet Union: Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and in some of the Balkan countries, in particular Kosovo, that is, in those places where there is a real need to observe elections.

Unlike other international election observation missions, ENEMO has certain specifics: this is an international network of non-governmental organizations from different countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which are professionally engaged in election observation and are independent and politically unaffiliated. Perhaps these specifics and professionalism of the ENEMO members are worrying the authorities of Belarus.

We remind that ENEMO includes two NGOs from Belarus: the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, which since 2008 have been engaged in national election observation in the framework of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”.

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