IFLRY and LYMEC deplore the electoral farce in Belarus

IFLRY and LYMEC deplore the electoral farce in Belarus

On September 23rd parliamentary elections took place in Belarus. Just as 4 years ago the elections were accompanied by huge irregularities on all levels of the electoral process cumulating in exaggerated voter turnout. In the end as predicted no candidate of the political opposition made it into the new Belarusian parliament.

Thomas Leys, President of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) commented: “It is clear that what we have seen last Sunday were not elections but merely an electoral farce organized by the government of president Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Judging from the many empty polling stations on Sunday and the reports of elections observers the voter turnout of 75%, which was supposedly reached despite the call for boycott by many opposition forces, is constructed and completely unrealistic.”

“Our partners and international observers observed the whole arsenal of electoral fraud throughout the election week. It started with ballot stuffing and forced voting during the early elections and continued with carousel voters and intensive manipulations during the vote-count on the official Election Day. Adding to this we saw the usual manipulations of the voters lists, that included even individuals that have been dead for several years already”, added Daniel George, Belarus Programme Manager of IFLRY.

Jeroen Diepemaat, President of the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) is deeply concerned about the situation in Belarus: “The Belarusian regime showed once again that it doesn’t respect any European or international standards for fair elections and human rights. It is specifically worrying that the elections were again accompanied by massive detentions of local observers, politicians and human rights activists. LYMEC also highly condemns the attacks and detentions of international journalists and the detention of a group of activists from the International Federation of Liberal Youth that was forced to leave the county last Thursday.”

“It is now time for extensive reactions by the international community and especially the European Institutions. Adding to the sanctions already in place new methods on increasing the pressure on this cruel regime, including intensified economic sanctions, have to be discussed and implemented as soon as possible.”, concluded Vedrana Gujic, Vice-President of LYMEC.

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