Belorussia: Elections, Not A Single Seat To Opposition

(AGI) - Minsk, 29 Sept - Not even one of the 110 seats of the new Parliement in Minsk has been won by the opposition in yesterday's legislative lections in Belorussia, reported by Central Election Committee secretary general Nikolai Lazovik, even before the official announcement of the definitive results. OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) will be making public their views on the fairness of the voting at 3PM local time (2PM in Italy). According to the Belorussian authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko, the outcome of the voting could end up being counter-productive, since it may compromise his attempts at rapprochement with the West, a move he had been obliged to take due to tensions with Russia, his traditional ally, due to gas supplies and their cost. For the first time since the 1990s, Lukashenko had allowed there to be about 80 opponents, as well as freeing several political prisoners. However, the complete elimination of the opposing force in Parliament "is a spit in the face to Europe," said Alexander Kozulin, one of the country's major dissidents. "OSCE is in a very delicate position." The conflict in Georgia and the chaotic political situation in Ucraine have induced Western governments to encourage the cautious openings up by the regime which has been called "the last dictatorship in Europe", even speaking about a possible lifting of sanctions. According to Serghei Kalyakin, head of the Communist Party hostile to Lukashenko, the trick was in calling early elections, which began on 23 September and had been strongly encourage. While checks were very strict yesterday, the same cannot be said of the previous days.



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