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Belarusian Elections a Sham - Again

(FILE) Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks in Minsk, Belarus.
(FILE) Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The elections were held in climate of fear under which no electoral processes could be called democratic,” said State Department Spokesperson Miller.

Belarusian Elections a Sham - Again
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Preliminary results have been announced by the Belarusian authorities for the local and parliamentary elections that concluded February 25. Not surprisingly, in elections where only candidates loyal to the country’s long time authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, were permitted to run, his iron-fisted rule over the Belarusian people was fortified.

On the final day of the polling, Lukashenka announced that he will run again for the presidency of Belarus in 2025. He has been in power since 1994. He was declared the winner of the last presidential contest in 2020, in an election that was widely seen as rigged, and was followed by massive protests by the Belarusian people. The protests were violently repressed by Lukashenka’s security forces. Tens of thousands of people were arrested; hundreds of media outlets and non-governmental organizations were shut down.

Since then, the United States has imposed visa restrictions on more than three hundred individuals complicit in Belarus’ fraudulent 2020 election and subsequent brutal crackdown on dissent.

In a statement by State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, the United States condemned Belarus’ recent parliamentary and local elections, and called them a “sham,” as well.

“The elections were held in climate of fear under which no electoral processes could be called democratic,” he said.

The regime continues to hold more than 1400 political prisoners, among them Nobel Peace Prize laureate Alex Bialiatski, who has dedicated his life to defending human rights and advancing democratic change in Belarus.

Additionally, in the run-up to the election, Spokesperson Miller noted, “All independent political parties were denied registration. Belarusians abroad could vote only if they returned to Minsk, where they would have likely faced reprisals. These abuses have effectively frozen genuine political activities and discourse inside Belarus. The regime prevented the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from observing the elections, further limiting the transparency that is essential to free and fair elections.

“The United States recognizes the strength, resilience, and courage of Belarus’s civil society and democratic movement, which demand a voice in determining their country’s future,” declared Spokesperson Miller. “The United States again calls on the Lukashenka regime to end its crackdown, release all political prisoners, and open dialogue with its political opponents. The Belarusian people deserve better.”