CIS, OSCE urged to evelop common approaches to election observation
MINSK. KAZINFORM – First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Viktor Guminsky delivered a speech at the international conference «Technologies of the electoral process and election monitoring» and informed the attendees about the work of the CIS observation mission amidst the changing technologies of electoral processes in the CIS countries, BelTA learned from the press service of the CIS Executive Committee.
Viktor Guminsky noted that since the Commonwealth of Independent States started sending observation missions 20 years ago (the CIS observers have monitored 110 elections and referendums in all Commonwealth countries over this time), it has amassed a wealth of experience and developed an effective mechanism for international election monitoring.
At the same time, the ongoing globalization and technological advancements, including in the electoral sphere, require constant improvement of procedures to conduct and monitor elections, the official said. According to him, in a bid to ensure openness and transparency of elections, organizers of elections in the Commonwealth countries are actively introducing new technologies aimed to boost voters' confidence in voting results. These technologies include electronic voter lists and digital services providing information about participants in the electoral process, biometric voter identification, video surveillance systems in voting rooms, and the use of technical means of vote counting.
At the same time, according to Viktor Guminsky, the introduction of new technologies in itself is not a guarantee of fair elections. It is necessary to study the impact of new technologies on the electoral process. It is also important to raise awareness about the importance of voting and take measures to exclude possible abuse. He also emphasized that the broader use of social networks for campaigning purposes is one of the factors that have a significant impact on the social and political situation in the country where elections are held. Thus, it is necessary to regulate the use of Internet technologies in election campaigns, including to prevent external interference in electoral processes.
All these matters require careful consideration and discussion. According to Viktor Guminsky, an advisory council of heads of electoral bodies of the CIS member states could be a good instrument for that. The work to set up the council has already begun on the initiative of Uzbekistan. He also drew the attention of the conference participants to the fact that elections in the Commonwealth countries are held and assessed in accordance with the Convention on the Standards of Democratic Elections, Electoral Rights and Freedoms in the Commonwealth of Independent States, while a similar document has not yet been adopted in the OSCE area, while observation missions of both the OSCE and the CIS are in fact elements of a unified system of international monitoring of electoral processes in the Commonwealth space. «We believe that common approaches to international standards of democratic elections are needed, which would create clear rules for election monitoring,» Viktor Guminsky concluded, Kazinform refers to BelTA.