Protest action against the electoral falsifications in Belarus / OSCE meeting in Vienna with L. Yarmoshyna

Invitation to a street exhibition and a protest action against the electoral falsifications in Belarus on the occasion of OSCE meeting in Vienna with the participation of L. Yarmoshyna, the Head of Central Electoral Committee of Belarus.

Place: at Heldenplatz in Vienna`s Hofburg, in front of the OSCE Headquarters.

July 12, 2012 – 2-7pm
July 13, 2012 – 11 am – 6 pm

We would like to draw attention to the problems of election falsifications in Belarus which have direct impact on sustaining the current oppressive regime in our country.

As the head of Central Electoral Committee (CEC) since 1996, L. Yarmoshyna has been one of the central figures of Lukashenka´s authoritarian government. None of the electoral campaigns since she assumed the office in CEC have been declared free or fair by the international community.

She is one of the Belarusian officials who fell under the EU sanctions after the Belarusian government cruelly suppressed the peaceful protest against falsified presidential elections in December 2010. As a result hundreds of people where beaten up and arrested by the police, 7 oppositional presidential candidates and dozens of activist were arrested and spent months in prison, many of them were convicted for long term sentences, dozens of NGO and media offices were searched and had their property confiscated and keep being harassed by the police up until now.

On the night of the last elections during her press appearance when asked about her opinion about cruelty towards protesters, especially female ones, she declared that “those women are better off cooking borsht than participating in political actions”. She is openly promoting the gender discrimination which has become a part of the official ideology in Belarus where women are pushed out of public space.

“This Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) will provide a platform to discuss best practices in follow-up and implementation of the OSCE commitments on democratic elections and explore strategies and key issues in election observation. The SHDM will also address such election-related matters as universal and equal suffrage rights, legal framework, media, campaign financing, and gender.” (from OSCE homepage)

In September 2012 Belarus will hold next parliamentary elections. It is already observed that these elections are not going to be free and fair. Independent observers are facing problems with registration at polling stations which means that it will be impossible to control the fairness of the electoral process. Oppositional candidates are facing problems during the registration process…  

Yarmoshyna´s time in the office has shown that she is not able to provide ground for free and fair elections in Belarus according to the international electoral standards. We believe that her participation in this event in Vienna, despite the sanctions imposed against her by the EU in 2011, serves more as the recognition of the unlawful regime in the country than an attempt to achieve any positive changes. We believe that at this point there is no sense in holding dialog with the representatives of the Belarusian regime.