Baltics condemn Belarus election

  • 2006-03-15
  • TBT Staff
Politicians in the three Baltic states criticized the conduct of Belarus' election on March 19, which awarded victory to President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been called Europe's last dictator.

On March 20, European affairs committees in the three Baltic states' and Polish parliaments passed a joint resolution condemning oppression in Belarus. The document denounced "repressions carried out by Belarusian authorities against representatives and leaders of civic society who promote with their work democratic processes in Belarus."
An arrest campaign carried out by Belarusian authorities, the document said, "contravenes international principles of human rights.
Earlier in the day, foreign ministries in Lithuania and Estonia condemned the election as well.
"Lithuania expresses concern over conducting the Belarusian presidential elections in an intimidating environment, without efforts to ensure freedom of the press and equal conditions for all candidates," the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "Such elections cannot be considered democratic and free."
An analysis by the Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had already determined that the Belarusian election did not mean international standards of fairness.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry also expressed "regret that the Belarusian authorities did not heed recommendations from international organizations or obligations it had assumed as a member of the OSCE and the United Nations," according to a statement.
Meanwhile, two Estonian observers were arrested in Minsk, but were later released. According to BNS, Belarusian authorities told the two men, Tonis Leht and Erik Moora, "don't stage your Orange Revolution here."