Belarusian elections do not meet democratic electoral standards
Brussels, 15 September 2016
The European People’s Party (EPP), having followed closely the 11 September parliamentary elections in Belarus, deeply regrets that the country has failed to meet international obligations and standards for electoral integrity.
“It is to be regretted that once more elections in Belarus have fallen short of international rules, owing to conduct which can be considered neither free, nor fair nor democratic. Despite numerous international recommendations on how to reform and adapt the electoral law, very little progress has been achieved,” said EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz.
“It is unacceptable that the political opposition in Belarus continues to be suppressed and repeatedly denied the registration of new political parties and NGOs. In these elections once again, media independence has been restricted, access to vote counting by international observes obstructed and the early voting system abused, as has been underlined by the OSCE/ODIHR’s preliminary conclusions. These and many other obstacles posed serious difficulties during the electoral campaign to the centre-right coalition formed by the United Civic Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and the Movement for Freedom, as well as for the Belarusian Popular Front and the rest of the democratic opposition,” added EPP President Joseph Daul.
“I praise the courage and determination of these parties to promote European values and to fight for democracy in Belarus, and I urge those authorities working closely with the EU and other international organisations to implement the OSCE/ODIHR’s recommendations ahead of local elections in one-and-a-half years’ time,” said EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz.
“The EPP will continue to support the people of Belarus, the youth as the future of the country, the centre-right opposition and our members who fight every day for a free, democratic, modern and European Belarus. We will remain alert as to developments in Belarus, which remains high on our agenda,” concluded the EPP President.
Note to editors:
The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 75 member parties from 40 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, 7 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 14 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.
For more information:
Siegfried Muresan, EPP Spokesperson, Tel. +32 22854147