Belarus elections ruled faulty

By: Judy West.

Despite the pretence of democratic elections at the weekend, European observers say that Belarus is still a dictatorship.

Following last weekend's elections none of the opposition candidates received any of the 110 seats in the Belarusian parliament.

Observers believe that the strategy of Aleksandr Lukashenko is to try to play off Russia and the Western bloc against each other.

This week representatives from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the election did not measure up to democratic standards. They said that at almost every polling the vote count was 'bad or very bad'. They also said that they witnessed several cases of suspected electoral fraud. But the OSCE also noted that there had been minor improvements since the last election.

The question is what the announcement may impact on the US. and EU policy. Some say that Lukashenko would like to exploit the political situation which arose from the clash between Russia and Georgia, but other complicated issues include power supplies and improved diplomatic relations. Whether the verdict on Sunday's elections will be enough now looks unlikely.

However, Western nations are anxious not to give Moscow a smoother ride with Belarus, and want to keep Lukashenko's further away from Putin's sphere of influence. All of this gives the Belarusian leader a stronger negotiating position.



Partners: Social Network