Source Pravda.Ru

OSCE Again Censures Belarus

Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe doubt that the Belarussian authorities have begun a genuine process of democratization in the country.

Uta Zapf, head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly working group for Belarus, said this after a visit to Minsk on February 5 through 7.

The delegation met with the Belarussian top parliamentarians, foreign and information ministers, representatives of the opposition and trade unions, journalists, as well as ambassadors of OSCE member countries, family members of the missed political figures of the opposition.

The OSCE delegation was to assess the set-up in the country proceeding from what is called the "four-criteria" principle: broadening of the parliamentary powers, freedom of the mass media, the authorities' loyalty to opposition figures and improvement of the electoral legislation.

The OSCE representatives voiced regret that changes in line with the international recommendations have not been made in the electoral legislation of Belarus.

The OSCE group of experts have also stated "discontinuation of investigation into the missed politicians and lack of a noticeable progress in the adoption of a key law guaranteeing freedom for the mass media".

Uta Zapf expressed the hope that the opening of an OSCE office in Minsk will do much to overcome the long-time deadlock in relations between the European institutions and Belarus.