IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Open Letter of Co-chair Bobinski to European Parliamentarians Observing Forthcoming Presidential Election in Belarus
18 September 2015
Mr Krzysztof Bobinski, Co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) addressed today an open letter to the attention of parliamentarians observing the forthcoming presidential election in Belarus.
The letter highlights the significance of election observation missions for the proper conduct of free and fair elections in Belarus. Election observation missions by European institutions such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), and the European Parliament continue to be a beacon for those in the EaP countries who believe that, one day, free and fair elections will become a reality throughout the region. For this reason, Mr Bobinski calls on election observers to perform their duties conscientiously and report their conclusions about the conduct of elections without any bias or regard for the feelings of their country’s rulers.
While stressing on the fact that people in Belarus expect to hear a fair report from foreign election observers, especially from those representing parliamentary institutions, Mr Bobinski warns the observers from the PACE, OSCE PA and OSCE/ODIHR who will monitor the elections in Belarus that in spite of currently developing rapprochement between Belarus and the European Union, observers from the EU member states must not sacrifice the credibility of their election observation mission to the cause of better relations between Minsk and Brussels. The letter thus concludes that the cause of free and fair elections must remain at the centre of the Eastern Partnership programme and European observers must fulfil their mandate to observe elections without fear or favour.