OSCE observers denounce that democratic standards have not been met
The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, will maintain his control of the Parliament after the legislative ones celebrated this Sunday, in which no opposition candidate has obtained seat, according to the preliminary results collected by the TUT portal.
The president of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Lidia Yermoshina, has detailed that 19.1 percent of the members of the new Parliament belong to political parties, while at 77.22 percent the participation rate .
Yesmoshina has added that a total of 44 of the 110 parliamentarians are women, representing 40 percent of the total number of seats, as reported by the Belarusian news agency Belta.
Lukashenko, head of state in Belarus since 1994, said Sunday that he will come back “without fail” in the 2020 elections, after casting his vote in parliamentary elections.
He also said he has no intention of holding on to the position if he perceives “a categorical rejection” at the polls. “I have promised not to hold on to the seat until my fingers turn blue. Believe me, it is not the most comfortable seat,” he added, according to the Reuters news agency.
The elections this Sunday have been considered as a barometer to measure the power of Lukashenko, who has led Belarus for a quarter of a century and is expected to be re-elected in 2020.
The closest ally of Belarus is Russia. Between the two countries the border is open and they enjoy economic and military integration. “If in Russia someone worries that the Americans have already dragged us to the West, it is nonsense. With Lukashenko, no one will drag Belarus to the West,” he said Sunday.
Lukashenko also pointed out that Belarus follows Russia's trail in terms of developing relations with NATO and the European Union (EU). “We follow in the footsteps (of Russia),” he said, although he ruled out any kind of military alliance with Moscow.
ASSESSMENT OF THE OSCE OBSERVERS
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has more than 400 observers to oversee the elections, has indicated that the elections have not met democratic standards.
Thus, he pointed out that the elections have not satisfied the fundamental freedoms and has expressed concern about the integrity of the procedure, according to the Reuters news agency.
“These elections have shown a general lack of respect for democratic commitments,” said Margareta Cederfelt, head of the OSCE election observation team.
The body has already criticized the last parliamentary elections, held three years ago, “marred by a significant number of irregularities and lack of transparency.”