Statement: Urgent call for immediate accreditation of international observers for the Polish parliamentary elections
The parliamentary elections are less than two days away. Already 120 international observers - representatives of prominent civil society organizations from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary, Estonia, and Italy have arrived in Warsaw, who have been preparing for months to observe the election day conduct. However, none of these organizations have yet received accreditation from the National Election Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This represents a significant departure from the previous practice, where international civil society observers were accredited to observe Polish elections in a timely manner. This creates operational and organizational difficulties for the associations wishing to observe.
The denial of accreditation to international observers would violate established practices in OSCE participating States, and it would contradict paragraph 8 of the 1991 OSCE Copenhagen Document, of which Poland and all European countries are signatories.
We, the representatives of EPDE, AGORA, SILBA, SILC, EDDA, and an ERASMUS youth exchange project "Eye of the Voter" urge the Foreign Ministry and the National Election Bureau to issue accreditation to international observers immediately.
To this day, the Foreign Ministry and the National Election Commission have only accredited observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) and the Council of Europe. No adequate explanations have been given as to why other international organizations or observers have not yet received accreditation, and any attempts to contact the Foreign Ministry for answers have been in vain. Without the accreditations, observers cannot do their work on Sunday, 15 October.
The presence of international observers during elections is a key element of the democratic process - they are one of the guarantors of transparency in elections as well as a valuable source of information for the State Election Commission. They also provide an independent, neutral point of view on how the elections were organized and conducted.
EPDE - European Platform for Democratic Elections (Germany)
Agora Election Observation (Estonia)
EDDA - European Dialogue and Democracy Association (Norway)
Silba - initiative for dialogue and democracy (Denmark)
SILC - Swedish International Liberal Centre (Sweden)
ERASMUS project „Eye of the Voter“ (Italy and Sweden)
For media inquiries, please contact:
Senior Programme Officer
European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE)