BRAMA, Mar 10, 2006, 9:30 am ET|
US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings to lead OSCE observation of Belarusian and Ukrainian Elections
Copenhagen, 9 March 2005 The President of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the OSCE, US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, will lead the OSCE
observer missions to the Presidential elections in Belarus on March 19
and to the Parliamentary elections in Ukraine on March 26. Congressman
Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, will act as the Special Co-ordinator
of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht.
As the Special Co-ordinator, Mr. Hastings will deliver the preliminary
conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission on the day
following the elections.
Mr. Hastings, who has extensive experience in election observation in
the OSCE area, will lead both OSCE PA delegations, including the more
than 120 parliamentarians and senior parliamentary staff who have been
appointed to observe in Belarus. As directly elected officials,
parliamentarians apply their unique knowledge of electoral processes to
assess the conduct of the elections and the political campaign, in
relation to OSCE commitments. In addition to receiving briefing reports
and regular updates on the campaign process, the OSCE parliamentarians
will receive direct briefings in the days prior to the elections with
senior OSCE experts, as well as political, media and civil society
leaders in the two countries. On election day, the observers will be
deployed to polling stations to observe the sealing of ballot boxes in
the morning, voting during the day, and the counting of ballots in the
evening. Since 1993, the OSCE PA has deployed over 2000 parliamentarians
to observe 75 elections across the OSCE region.
The OSCE election observation missions are joint efforts of the OSCE PA
and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
(ODIHR). The ODIHR deploys long-term missions several weeks before
election day, as well as short-term observers seconded by OSCE
participating States, and provides the framework for the deployment of
the short-term parliamentary observers. In Ukraine, the OSCE PA will
also work in close co-operation with parliamentary observers from the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council Europe, the NATO Parliamentary
Assembly and the European Parliament.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, created by the CSCE Summit in
Paris in 1990, is the parliamentary dimension of the 55-nation
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The primary task
of the 317 member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary
dialogue, an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the
challenges of democracy throughout the OSCE area.
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