Yesterday's parliamentary elections in the Republic of Belarus took place in an overall calm atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a lost opportunity to conduct elections fully in line with international standards.
The preliminary assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission states that there was an overall disregard for fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression. In addition, the OSCE/ODIHR notes that a limited amount of campaigning took place, within a restrictive environment that, overall, did not provide for a meaningful or competitive political contest.
A number of key OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission recommendations remain unaddressed. In view of the presidential elections of 2020, it is crucial the Belarusian authorities resume work on comprehensive electoral reform without delay. This will also be key for achieving the full potential of EU-Belarus relations, building on the positive cooperation of the last three years.
The European Union is committed to supporting a stable, democratic, sovereign and prosperous future of the country, for the benefit of the people of Belarus, and will continue its work with this objective firmly in mind.