Posted on Sep 17, 2020
In a resolution adopted by 574 votes in favour, 37 against, and with 82 abstentions on Thursday, the European Parliament rejects the official results of the “so-called presidential elections” in Belarus on 9 August this year, as these elections were conducted in a “flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards”. Once the term of office for the incumbent authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expires on 5th November, Parliament will no longer recognise him as the president of the country.
In the meantime, MEPs welcomed the recently established Coordination Council as an “interim representation of the people demanding democratic change” in Belarus that is open to all political and social stakeholders. They also reiterated the many calls for new, free and fair elections to take place as soon as possible under international supervision.
MEPs called for EU sanctions against the group of individuals responsible for falsifying the election results and for the violent repression in Belarus, including President Lukashenko, and call on EU member states in the Council to implement these restrictive measures without delay, in close coordination with international partners.
MEPs also staunchly condemned the mass arrests and ongoing violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, strike leaders and journalists in the country, with many reports of ill-treatment, rape and torture emerging from Belarusian detention centres and jails.
The resolution finally underlined the important contribution made by prominent female opposition members, led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Veranika Tsapkala and Maria Kalesnikova, during the protests. It demands the immediate release of the arrested members of the Coordination Council and all those arbitrarily detained for political reasons.
The text noted that many Belarusians consider Tikhanovskaya to be the winner of the presidential elections and Belarus’ real president-elect.
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