In response to an invitation from Belarus's Foreign Minister, ODIHR deployed an election observation mission on 2 September to observe the 17 October parliamentary elections.
Headed by Ambassador Audrey Glover of the United Kingdom, the mission consisted of 12 core team members and 22 long-term observers from 17 OSCE participating States based in Minsk and eight other cities and covering all 110 constituencies. The OSCE/ODIHR deployed some 270 observers from 37 OSCE participating States to follow early voting and election-day proceedings.
According to the mission's final report: "The 17 October parliamentary elections in the Republic of Belarus fell significantly short of OSCE commitments. Universal principles and constitutionally guaranteed rights of expression, association and assembly were seriously challenged, calling into question the Belarusian authorities’ willingness to respect the concept of political competition on a basis of equal treatment. It is also of concern that during the election campaign, President Lukashenko affirmed that the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Belarus have 'elements of authoritarianism'. The Belarusian authorities failed to create the conditions to ensure that the will of the people serves as the basis of the authority of government, a fundamental commitment of the 1990 Copenhagen Document."
The ODIHR mission co-operated with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for these elections.