CIS observation team to start working in Belarus on 25 July

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MINSK. July  26. KAZINFORM The CIS observation mission will start monitoring Belarus' parliamentary election campaign on 25 July, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev said as he met with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Lidia Yermoshina, BelTA has learnt.

Sergei Lebedev noted that the headquarters of the CIS observation mission will open at 17 Kirova Street in Minsk on 25 July, BelTA reports.

Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev will lead the CIS observation mission this year. He noted that the CIS countries were fast to nominate their representatives to work as observers in Belarus. "Therefore, we decided to deploy the mission earlier than we had announced. Not in mid-August, but today," Sergei Lebedev said.

Among the long-term observers (around 35 people) will be members of the CIS Executive Committee and diplomats of the CIS member states accredited in Minsk. The short-term observers (300-350 people) will arrive in Belarus on the polling day, 23 September, Sergei Lebedev informed.

He added that offices of the headquarters of the CIS observation team are to open in all the oblast capitals of Belarus in the near term. "We will analyze Belarus' legislation, meet with election officials, members of territorial and precinct commissions, parliamentary candidates, representatives of political parties and NGOs that nominated their candidates to the Belarusian parliament," Sergei Lebedev said.

He emphasized that the CIS observation mission consists of experienced people. "Unlike western missions, there are no unemployed people or students in our observation team. A fresh look is important, too. However, I hope that this composition of the CIS observation mission will help us more professionally evaluate the preparation and the conduct of the parliamentary election in Belarus," Sergei Lebedev said.

Sergei Lebedev and Lidia Yermoshina discussed the deployment of the CIS observation mission led by Sergei Lebedev. Lidia Yermoshina gave him observer certificate No.1. The CEC Chairperson emphasized that the CEC perceives the CIS observers as assistants, well-intentioned critics who help improve the electoral process in the country.

Sergei Lebedev noted that the CIS observation mission had always felt the support of the CEC and other parties involved in the electoral process. He expressed confidence that the same will be the case at the forthcoming election. "The major principles underpinning our work are impartiality, objectivity and non-interference with domestic affairs of the host country," the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary concluded.

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