Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is to address Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy during an exchange of views on the situation in Belarus following the 9 August Presidential election. A representative of the National Assembly of Belarus has also been invited to participate.
PACE President Rik Daems, who recently called for “an all-inclusive national political process” in the country to ensure a peaceful and democratic transition, will also take part.
Belarus applied to join the Council of Europe in 1993 but its parliament’s special guest status with the Assembly – regarded as the first step towards membership – was suspended in 1997. However since then the Assembly has continued to hold an ongoing dialogue with Belarusian authorities, parliamentarians and civil society, and frequently invites members of the National Assembly of Belarus, as well as members of the extra-parliamentary opposition, to attend meetings of its committees.
Two motions – or requests for reports by the Assembly – on the situation in Belarus have been submitted, on “Call for an inclusive national political process in Belarus”, initiated by Dame Cheryl Gillan (United Kingdom, EC/DA), Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, and on “Urgent need for electoral reform in Belarus”, initiated by Lord Blencathra (United Kingdom, EC/DA), a member of the committee.