COPENHAGEN, 30 March 2021 – Some 45 parliamentarians and staff from 12 OSCE countries will observe the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria on 4 April. Deploying in the capital, Sofia, and other regions, the OSCE PA observers will work closely with colleagues from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Artur Gerasymov, an OSCE PA Member from Ukraine, is serving as Special Co-ordinator of the OSCE short term observers, and Pascal Allizard, from France, heads the OSCE PA’s team.
“These elections are an important opportunity for the Bulgarian people to express their voices,” Gerasymov said. “As observers, we hope to see a fair and democratic process that allows everyone to compete on an equal playing field and that the results are an accurate reflection of the will of the people.”
Allizard noted that the COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for observers, election administrators, and voters alike, but stressed that the observation mission is adapting well to the circumstances. “Our pre-election briefings will be held entirely online, providing us the opportunity to hear from representatives of political parties, election analysts and experts, long-term observers, and media representatives on the situation ahead of elections,” Allizard said. “As for election day observation, we are following our usual observation procedures as much as possible while of course taking all necessary precautions to protect the health of observers, voters, and election officials.”
The mission, which has been invited by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is assessing the elections against democratic commitments contained in the OSCE’s 1990 Copenhagen Document, to which Bulgaria has agreed. On 5 April, on the day after the elections, observers will deliver their assessment of these elections at a press conference in Sofia, which will stream live on the OSCE PA website, www.oscepa.org.
The OSCE PA has sent observers to Bulgaria for two previous elections – in 1997 and 2013.
For previous OSCE PA assessments of elections in Bulgaria, please click here.
News Source: OSCEPA