Ronald Pofalla: That is not an election
16:57, — Politics
A number of German-speaking media published articles about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Belarus.
The Austrian Êurier reports the the elections are held without the opposition participating and in the atmosphere of despair and indifference (translated by Radio Free Europe):
Belarus is electing and this sounds paradoxically. But.. On Sunday the country, ruled by Aliaksandr Lukashenka, will see parliamentary elections. In the country, where the main voice belongs to the president, whereas the parliament is an executive body at its best. Two largest Belarusian oppositional parties are boycotting the voting thus expressing their protest against politicization of judiciary bodies, puppet functionaries and media, against total pressure on voters.
Obviously, the opposition is not losing anything. Event in the current parliament it was not represented by a single member. But 2008 election gave at least a slightest hope. Yes, according to the OSCE’s assessment, they were not democratic. Nevertheless, they were monitored by diplomats and observers. Some part of the opposition expressed certain hope for a extended openness of the system. The further events, which followed the 2010 presidential elections, destroyed these hopes totally”.
Then the Vienna media highlights:
“The current electoral campaign coincided with searches in oppositionists apartments, attacks on journalists, persecutions of activists and early voting, which saw “wide falsifications” registered by observers. The OSCE is observing the elections this time as well, but in notably more difficult conditions. As after the 2010 presidential elections the situation went more acute, in the spring 2011 following the initiative of the Belarusian authorities the OSCE’s office in Minsk was closed.The EU in its turn adopted sanctions against the regime representatives. The currents OSCE mission couldn’t escape facing difficulties as well. Thus, two OSCE accredited observers didn’t receive Belarusian visas, neither didn’t several journalists”.
As the Dusseldorf’s Rheinische Post points out, because of the Minsk’s refusal to issue a Belarusian visa to the OSCE observers and the Bundestag member Mary Louise Beck, the German MFA on Thursday invited the ambassador of Belarus Andrei Giro for a conversation. The federal government will consider more strict sanctions against Belarus. The head of the Federal Chancellors Office Ronald Pofalla, who has longstanding and regular contacts with Belarusian opposition, expresses his disappointment as to the upcoming parliamentary elections:
“The elections on Sunday does not correspond to the meaning of the word”, - Pofalla said. Lakashenka keeps holding the oppositionists in jails on political grounds, he stressed. Other oppositionists ended up in exile because of the threat of criminal prosecution. Recently many people have become witnesses of how the authorities are able to paralyze even the media coverage of the elections and their observation.
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