Belarus presidential election: ‘Neither free nor fair, despite lack of violence’ – UN rights expert


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, commended that protests against the perceived flaws of last Sunday’s presidential election in the country were not met with violence as in previous cases, but regretted that no progress was made in serving the Belarusians’ right to free and fair election.

“The election process was orchestrated, and the result was pre-ordained,” Mr. Haraszti said. “It could not be otherwise, given the 20 years of continuous suppression of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, which are the preconditions for any credible competition.”

The expert noted that none of the independent election monitors, both international and local, could verify the officially reported 86 % turnout or 84% endorsement of the incumbent.

“Such high scores have never been claimed in elections in Europe since the end of the Soviet Union,” he stressed. “The observers’ documentations highlighted that not even the four days of coerced participation of prison inmates, army conscripts, and public servants under the label of ‘early voting’, can give up the stated numbers.”

The Special Rapporteur also pointed to the high number of allegations of election-day fraud, such as undocumented handling of voter lists and ballots, voting on behalf of others, carrousel voting, ballot stuffing, voting without proper documents, and mobile voting abuses.

Read more: How elections are rigged in Belarus. Evidence from observer

The Special Rapporteur welcomed the fact that no cases of violence had been observed during the election and promised to monitor action the authorities will take against dissidents.

The Belarusian Central Election commission is to publich the final election results on October, 16. At the moment the EU is looking into the possibility of suspending sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his minions for 4 months.

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