With a view to the forthcoming parliamentary elections (September 2016), a round table on electoral standards and the electoral process improvement in Belarus will take place in Minsk on 18 May 2016. This meeting follows a proposal by Andrea Rigoni (Italy, ALDE), Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Co-organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union, this activity is part of the Joint Programmatic Cooperation Framework for the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus). It is the first event organised by the PACE Parliamentary Project Support Division, in co-operation with the Venice Commission, for members of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus. It aims to promote European electoral standards, as well as to improve the electoral process in Belarus.
In October 2015, PACE observed the presidential election in Belarus, as part of an international election observation mission together with the OSCE. This was the first time since 2001 that the PACE had been invited to observe an election in the country.
In its election observation report, PACE pointed out that “Belarus needs to reform its electoral legislation to ensure a thoroughly competitive political environment which is a key condition for the long-term democratic stability of the country” and concluded that the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly, through their various co-operation programmes, should continue to strive to improve the electoral legislation and its implementation in Belarus.