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Belarus Presidential Elections – Not Democratic Enough

 

Belarus Presidential Elections – Not Democratic Enough

The main conclusions of the European Parliament delegation to observe the Presidential elections in Belarus between 7 and 10 September were as follows: Source: European parliament, DG III, Directory of Information, September 10, 2001.

"The 2001 presidential election process failed to meet the OSCE commitments for democratic elections formulated in the 1990 Copenhagen Document and the Council of Europe Standards.

The Delegation welcomes and acknowledges the emergence of a pluralist civil society, being the foundation for the development of democratic political structures, representing all segments of the population.

Isolation is not in the best interests of the Belarus people and is not conducive to strengthening democratic development.

The Delegation sincerely regrets that the absence of basic democratic structures in Belarus and the lack of respect for basic human rights and values has greatly contributed to the present isolation of the country and its people. However in the light of the existing democratic deficit as well as of the positive trends indicating a more pluralistic political environment in Belarus, the international community should reassess its policy towards this country.

This does not mean that the European Parliament recommends at present to modifying the European Union’s attitude towards the Belarus regime. EU Policy with regard to Belarus will continue to evolve but no changes should be made until a full assessment has been made of any post election developments. A report to be drawn up by Pedro Marset Campos, one of the delegation’s members, will carry out this assessment and advise on its strategies for the development of a fully functioning civil society and democratic political forces in Belarus. The institutions represented in the observer mission must be prepared to continue to give further assistance to the promotion of a constructive dialogue across the political spectrum of the civil society and between the government and the international community. This assistance should further facilitate the process of promoting the democratic and economic transition of Belarus and its integration in European structures.

It should also be noted that the European Parliament’s clear stand on the respect for basic human rights and democratic standards in Belarus must also be considered as an indication of its attitude towards other states into economic and democratic transition."

The delegation was headed by Jan Marinus Wiersma (Netherlands, PES). Other Members of the delegation were Lennart Sacredeus (Sweden, EPP-ED), Elisabeth Schroedter (Germany, Greens/EFA). Pedro Marset Campos (Spain, EUL/NGL) and Robert Goodwill (United Kingdom, EPP-ED).

The observation mission was carried out in close cooperation with the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the OSCE and OSCE/ODIHR observation mission.

The delegation undertook its monitoring mission on the basis of international standards for conduct of free and democratic elections as formulated by the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

The joint statement of preliminary findings and conclusions is now available and can be sent by e-mail.

Press enquiries: Timothy Boden, (Brussels) tel.(32-2) 28 43459, e-mail : foreign-press@europarl.eu.int

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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