KHUJAND, October 26, Asia-Plus -- Onno van der Wind, the head of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission in Tajikistan, has refrained from commenting on activity of political parties in the northern province of Sughd.   

“We do not have the right to give such an assessment,” he told journalists at a news conference that was held in Khujand Wednesday evening.  At the same time, he noted that they have not yet received any complaints from political parties. 

“We will not interfere in the voting process and advance our opinion”  van der Wind said.  Observers will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions the day after the election, accoridn gto him.   

According to him, the mission will assess the presidential election for its compliance with principles for democratic electoral processes, including commitments agreed to by all OSCE participating States, as well as national legislation.  Observers will closely monitor the legislative framework and its implementation, campaign activities, media coverage, the media situation, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies and the resolution of election disputes.

 The head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission noted that participation of five candidates in the election is a positive step.  “We believe people will have choice,” said van der Wind, “At the same time we realize that a level of support for incumbent president is quite high.” 

According to him, they posted the preliminary report on observation in Internet on October 12.  The next report will be published next week, and another report will be published after the election.  

According to van der Wind, 12 experts are working with the mission Dushanbe.  “Besides, 100 short-term observers will arrive in Tajikistan to observe the voting, counting, and tabulation of results,” the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission head noted.