Electoral commission supports expelling Russia and Belarus from ACEEEO

Ljubljana – The National Electoral Commission has decided to vote to expel the central electoral commissions of Russia and Belarus from the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO). Slovenian citizens residing in Ukraine will be able to cast their vote at so-called OMNIA polling stations if they apply on time.

The commission condemned Russia’s and Belarus’s attack on Ukraine as an abject act and a grave violation of international law. The act is the reason why the commission no longer wants to cooperate with the election authorities in those two countries, the commission announced after a session on Thursday.

The commission will vote for expulsion from the ACEEEO because it thinks that a potential freezing of the two countries’ status with the organisation would be insufficient.

“The Russian Federation’s armed attack on the independent and sovereign state of Ukraine violated ACEEEO’s core values, which calls for the adoption of the strongest sanctions, i.e. exclusion. The same applies to the Republic of Belarus, which supports the military attack,” reads the statement.

If the proposal for the expulsion is not carried, the Slovenian body will quit the association itself.

The commission notes that the ACEEEO was founded in 1991 to provide support to electoral bodies for fair and free elections and must thus advocate political freedom and an environment conducive to a just political, economic and social development, to promote free, fair and transparent elections and general and secret voting right.

The association must make sure those values are respected and the member states that do not respect the principles of international law should be excluded.

The commission today also decided an alternative way for Slovenians with permanent residence in Ukraine to cast their vote in the 24 April general election as they will not be able to do so at the Slovenian Embassy in Kyiv, which is closed due to the war in the country.

Those who manage to return to Slovenia before the election will be able to cast ballots at the OMNIA polling station if they submit their application by midnight on 20 April. Such polling stations are designated for voters who cast their vote outside the electoral district of their residence.