Levits calls for investigation of presidential election in Belarus and release of those arrested during the election

  • 2020-08-10
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other relevant international organizations in consultation with all stakeholders should investigate the recent elections in Belarus, while Belarusian authorities should release all those who were arrested during the elections, believes Latvian President Egils Levits.

In the president's opinion, the OSCE and other relevant international organizations in consultation with all stakeholders to investigate the recent elections, including campaigning, election procedure, determination of voting results and the events that followed to establish whether these elections were held according to standards for free and democratic elections and give their assessment of the election process.

"Latvia as a neighboring country of Belarus fully supports the deep desire of Belarusian people to live in an independent, free and democratic Belarus governed by the rule of law," Levits emphasized, adding that Latvia and Belarus were both members of the OSCE. "Together with other members of the organization we have set standards for free and democratic elections."

Levits is also urging Belarusian authorities to release all those who were arrested during the elections and to ensure all human and civil rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly and association.

"Latvia believes that closer cooperation between the European Union and Belarus is in our common interest. Belarus is an EU Eastern Partnership country. This partnership is aimed at fostering stability, economic growth and mutual trust throughout the region. This partnership is based on clear principles. We hope that these principles will be observed," said Levits.

As reported, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won 80.23 percent of the vote in the country's presidential election, while his main rival won nearly 9.9 percent, according to preliminary results, DPA reports.

Belarusian opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had earlier refused to accept state media projections that gave her a similarly limited vote share.

Police violently cracked down on protests that erupted in major cities on Sunday night after the polls closed.