EU refuses to recognize new Belarusian parliament, says vote was not democratic
25.09.12 12:18 By News Dept.
Elections were marred by limitations on access to media and obstacles for the international observers to monitor the vote count, Martin Schulz said. Photo: AFP
The EU Parliament said it cannot establish ties with the newly-elected parliament of the former Soviet republic of Belarus, the EU Parliament head Martin Schulz said in an online statement, published on Monday evening.
"I deeply regret that parliamentary elections in Belarus have yet again failed to meet international standards of fair and transparent polls," Schultz said. "With opposition leaders remaining imprisoned, with some opposition candidates denied registration, with the people's voice silenced, it was a mockery of a democratic ballot," he added.
According to Schulz, the Belarusian elections "were marred by limitations on access to media, obstacles for the international observers to monitor the vote count and reports about pressure on different groups of voters. Belarus continues on a non-democratic path, depriving its citizens of civic rights and from reaping the benefits of closer engagement with the European Union."
The parliamentary vote was held in Belarus on September 23. Belarusians elected 109 of the 110 members of the Lower House of Parliament. None of the opposition representatives were elected. The two main opposition parties, United Civic Party and the Belarussian People's Front, which were ignored by the media during the election campaign, urged people to boycott the vote which they said would be rigged. The turnout to the Belarusian voting stations was reported some 74% by the country's Central Elections commission, a number doubted by international observers.
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