Meetings with heads of OSCE observer mission for the Belarusian parliamentary elections

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Parliament should be composed of true professionals regardless of their political affiliation is, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with the heads of the OSCE observer mission for the Belarusian parliamentary elections on 30 August.

Partaking in the meeting were Kent Harstedt, special coordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission for the elections to the House of Representatives and Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and Cayetana De Zulueta Owtram, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission.

“I would like true professionals to be elected to the Belarusian parliament. It does not matter what political views they hold. Believe me, the Parliament should consist of people who can work and who can draft laws,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“You know the parliamentary work very well. I was a member of parliament too. Lawmaking is the main area of focus. And that’s what our parliament does. It is the main priority for them. Therefore, I would like to see professionals among members of parliament. I cannot say that our parliament has ever been unprofessional over the years of my presidency. There have been patriots who love their country and who can work well,” the head of state said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, observers should get to know the country well, the Belarusian people, should learn more about the essence of the elections in Belarus. “You have observed our elections before. It is good. When we learned that you would be the coordinator at the elections, I approved of your candidacy,” the President said. “However, many told me that Mr. Harstedt had a negative attitude to our electoral process, our elections, and, perhaps, the country. I told them back that he had already been here, he knows Belarus and our people, he is a smart person and will sort everything out. I do not regret that you have become a coordinator.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that his role in the electoral process as President is to ensure clear and strict compliance with the laws and the entire electoral legislation of Belarus in accordance with the Constitution. “These are my responsibilities. I must do everything so that the voting process is fair, open, safe and secure, so that people come to the polls as if it is a holiday,” the head of state added.

The participants of the meeting agreed that elections should not destabilize the situation in the country. “Thank God, the last elections were calm. I will do everything to make sure that the current parliamentary elections are as calm,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

Addressing the heads of the OSCE election mission Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that their mission will be successful and that the elections will be held in a fair and proper way.

“There are many well-wishers who advise us a lot. We are good students. It is never too late to learn. But we will be guided by the interests of the Belarusian people, and we will do everything to comply with the basic democratic criteria for such elections,” the head of state noted.

Kent Harstedt, in turn, thanked the President for the meeting. “It is vital to exchange opinions ahead of such an important event,” he said.

Kent Harstedt said that it was the fourth time that he had observed the election campaigns in Belarus. “I would like to note, and I emphasized this in the reports, that the election process is becoming better and more open,” the OSCE representative stressed.