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Opinions & Interviews

18 May 2016

Rigoni: PACE-Belarus cooperation in electoral process is very important

Rigoni: PACE-Belarus cooperation in electoral process is very important

MINSK, 18 May (BelTA) - The cooperation between the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and Belarus in the electoral process is particularly important, PACE rapporteur on Belarus Andrea Rigoni said when speaking at the roundtable in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

“I believe that the Belarusians should be invited to participate in all PACE activities in this matter,” Andrea Rigoni said. The PACE representative noted that, for example, he would like to invite Belarus’ representatives to attend the conference on media and elections which will be held in Berlin on 5 June.

“It is an honor for me to represent PACE here in the capacity of rapporteur. We started thinking about holding this roundtable immediately after the elections 2015,” said Andrea Rigoni. According to him, it is good to discuss what worked well in Belarus during the election campaign 2015 and what things need to be changed in the electoral process.

The PACE rapporteur thinks it is necessary to improve the cooperation of Belarus with the Venice Commission. “It is no coincidence that its representative is attending the roundtable,” he said.

All members of the Council of Europe and the OSCE regularly receive recommendations on how to improve the electoral process. “So that this is not only Belarus,” Andrea Rigoni noted. He stressed that he had participated in election observation since 2001, as part of 55 missions. “In all the countries we try to improve basic standards for elections,” Andrei Rigoni noted.

In his words, the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Belarus in September 2016 will be a fundamental step for Belarus and the normalization of its relations with the Council of Europe and the European Union. “We all believe that Belarus should be part of PACE,” Andrea Rigoni stressed. He expressed hope that PACE will have an opportunity to observe the parliamentary elections in Belarus this year.

The PACE rapporteur is in favor of further rapprochement of the Council of Europe and Belarus. “Dialogue and cooperation have no alternative. This is the only way that works,” said Andrea Rigoni.

The PACE representative, and also representatives of OSCE, the European Parliament, the European External Action Service, Venice Commission, Center for European Perspective and members of the both chambers of the Belarusian parliament are taking part in a roundtable on electoral standards and the electoral process improvement in Belarus. Attending the meeting, which is taking place in the House of Representatives, is also Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Lidia Yermoshina.

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