Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Diplomats of 16 Countries have Expressed Wish to Observe Local Elections

Diplomats of 16 countries have expressed a wish to observe Belarus’ April 25 elections for local soviets, Mikalay Lazavik, secretary of the central election commission, told BelaPAN on Monday.

According to him, applications for permission to observe the elections have been received from 29 diplomats representing the embassies of Canada, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, the Palestine Authority, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and other countries.

The diplomats will carry out short-term observation, Mr. Lazavik said.

International observers will not be invited to monitor Belarus’ coming local elections, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the central election commission, said in January.

The Belarusian authorities have never done this, she said. "If we invite them, we will have to stick to the practice in the future," she explained, noting that every country should pursue "consistent tactics" in inviting international observers.

She said that the practice of not inviting foreign observers to monitor local elections is common across the world.