PRESS RELEASE – 24 September 2012
Commenting on yesterday‘s parliamentary elections in Belarus, Green foreign affairs spokesperson Werner Schulz (MEP Germany) stated:
“It is impossible to describe yesterday’s sham as an election. There was no risk of Belarusian citizens having an actual choice and as such it lacks any credibility. Unattended ballot boxes, voting under surveillance, vote counts without supervision and the exclusion of nearly 99% of all the opposition candidates from election committees assured calm and smooth procedures.
Not only does Lukashenko mock and undermine the opposition, he also derides all calls for more democracy by the West. Since the fundamentally flawed presidential elections in 2010, Lukashenko has responded to any criticism with repressions and violence. As long as he remains in power, no political or economic reforms will be possible.
The opposition’s only hope is to be unified in the presentation of an alternative reform programme, with a view to mobilising the support of the growing number of dissatisfied citizens.
Following these flawed elections, the European Union must continue to push for reform as a precondition for any cooperation. The top priority as a precondition for any cooperation remains the immediate release of all political prisoners. As long as this is not fulfilled, the EU should leave no doubt that the existing sanctions will be reinstated and even intensified at the next foreign ministers council in October. It must also support the civil society by swiftly moving to simplify the visa application procedures for Belarusian citizens.”