World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Belarus cracks down on US election

The statement from Minsk was very similar to American and European criticism in Belarus elections

The government of Belarus decided to respond to the Western criticism. When the results of the US presidential election were exposed, the Belarus Foreign Ministry released a statement, in which Bush's win was called doubtful. According to Belarus officials, the US election was neither democratic, nor transparent.

The statement particularly runs: “According to the information received from independent observers and mass media outlets, several fundamental international election requirements, including the ones of OSCE's Copenhagen document signed in 1990, were broken.” Spokespeople for the Belarus Foreign Ministry said that the American government had not removed serious flaws in the election system of the United States. “That is why we are not surprised with numerous messages about the missing absentee ballots, malfunctions in the work of the electronic voting system, intimidation of electors, the absence of voters in registration lists, impossibility to obtain information about the voting process from electoral committees,” the statement says.

In addition, Belarus officials pointed out that international observers did not have a free access to the polls in certain states. The Foreign Ministry of Belarus hopes that the mission of international observers of the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutes and Human Rights will “objectively reflect the election campaign in the US and give an adequate estimation of the election,” Interfax reports.

However, it is hard to presume that governmental officials of Belarus thought the OSCE would cast doubts on the results of the US election. Observers did not notice something extraordinary in the voting. In the words from the head of the mission of the OSCE observers, the Austrian Ambassador Christian Strohal, there were no rough violations of the norms of democratic elections registered. Strohal referred to the reported infringements as “local misunderstandings.”

The statement from the Belarus Foreign Ministry would have probably caused a reaction in European states and in the USA, if it did not look like a response to criticism of the referendum and parliamentary elections in Belarus. The statement from Minsk was very similar to what American and European officials said about the Belarus elections a short time ago. Belarus did not impose any sanctions, though. Most likely, the USA will simply ignore the Belarussian opinion on the election.

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