CIS mission begins 2015 Belarus presidential election observation

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CIS mission begins 2015 Belarus presidential election observation

Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus on August 18 gave the head of the CIS observation mission Sergei Lebedev a license in connection with the beginning of the mission's work and also a mandate of an international observer.

The head of the CIS observation mission Sergei Lebedev was appointed in mid-July. In total, Belarus has already accredited 33 international observers representing the CIS. Today, on August 18, their mission officially begins. This is the fourth time they have monitored Belarusian elections. In addition to representatives from the CIS mission, PACE and the OSCE will be monitoring the proceedings.

The election figures for now are as follows: still 8 action groups, 153 territorial election commissions, 6,080 precinct commissions (almost fifty are abroad) and 516 national observers.  

Sergei Lebedev is a seasoned politician. He has been working as Chairman of the Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary almost 8 years. This is not the first time Mr Lebedev has monitored elections in CIS countries, including in Belarus. He was appointed head of the election observation mission in Belarus a month ago. Sergey Lebedev has repeatedly noted that one needs to maintain an objective and unbiased approach.  Belarus has allowed the CIS to monitor elections since 2001.

Sergei Lebedev, Chairman of the Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary, head of the CIS observation mission at the presidential election in Belarus:
In general, our mission in the Republic of Belarus is going to include about 400 people. Our mission includes representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. These are the states that have confirmed their participation in the monitoring.

Other international organizations will also monitor the October 11 election. For example, the OSCE will involve 40 long-term and about 400 short-term observers.

Lidia Yermoshina, Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus:
They will be present in all major cities of the Republic of Belarus. We think that they will start working from 1 September. But you are the first.

Representatives of the election commissions from different countries have already confirmed their will to monitor the Belarusian election orally or in writing. Even the Shanghai Cooperation Organization expressed a wish to participate in the monitoring.

Sergei Lebedev, Chairman of the Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary, head of the CIS observation mission at the presidential election in Belarus:
Traditionally during all election campaigns in the post-Soviet space we are in close contact with observers from other missions; we meet with the missions from Islamic countries; they are monitoring elections in Central Asia.

The deadline for submission of action groups' signatures is 21 August. At 19.00 territorial electoral commissions will stop accepting signature sheets and begin to study them. Now taking part in the presidential race are 8 people. By the way, three out of the eight initiative groups have not yet submitted signatures to the CEC.  

Anastasia Ivannikova, CTV:
The Central Election Commission (CEC) plans to register candidates for the post of President of Belarus on 10 September. Immediately after that, there will begin the next phase - campaigning for candidates.