‘It is Belarusians’ right to elect political reps’: MEPs consider Lukashenka persona non grata

In a common statement, political leaders from EPP, S&D, Renew Europe, Greens/EFA and ECR groups in the European Parliament join forces to call for new and free elections in Belarus and strongly condemn the violence and torture perpetrated against peaceful protesters organised by Lukashenka’s regime.

“We applaud the Belarusian people for their courage and determination and strongly support their desire for democratic change and freedom. The 9th August presidential elections were neither free, nor fair, and credible reports point to a victory of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya. We therefore do not recognise Alyaksandr Lukashenka as the re-elected President of Belarus and consider him a persona non grata in the European Union,” the statement reads.

MEPs strongly condemned the arrests and appalling acts of violence and torture perpetrated against peaceful protesters, and called for a full investigation of these crimes, which cannot go unpunished. In this regard, they reminded Alyaksandr Lukashenka of his responsibility. They blasted the Belarusian authorities for the suppression of internet and media, road blockades, and intimidation of journalists in order to stop the flow of information about the situation in the country.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya appeals to Belarusians saying she is ready to lead the nation

The representatives of EP major parties and groups also called for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, and political prisoners who have been detained before and during the election campaign. They welcomed the decision of EU foreign affairs ministers to blacklist all those responsible for violence and the falsified presidential elections, and urged the sanctions list to be compiled as soon as possible, so that people who committed these crimes would be banned from visiting the EU and their assets would be frozen.

“The European Union can and must do more to further the cause of democracy and freedom in Belarus, including by strengthening assistance to Belarusian civil society and immediately ceasing any financial support to the government and state-controlled projects,” they stressed.

The deputies called on the EU to support a peaceful transition of power, and engage in a dialogue with the Belarusian opposition and civil society with a view to launch a new electoral process, under the supervision of a new Electoral Commission, a body that can be trusted by all the parties.

The final sentence of the statement is Zhyvie Belarus! (Long live Belarus).

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