Germany: Bundestag Doubts Presidential Election in Belarus Will Meet Democratic Standards
According to RFE/RL
On 9 March at their sitting in Bundestag the members of the German Parliament expressed their doubt that the presidential election in Belarus is conducted with observation of all democratic norms and procedures. They also pointed at the importance of the independent monitoring of the election and decided to direct to Minsk seven deputies of Bundestag for that purpose. All in all, Germany will direct to Belarus about 40 experts for monitoring of the election.
The deputies of all parliamentary fractions, except for the left wing, also adopted the resolution on the electoral campaign in Belarus. There it is stated that the electoral campaign takes place against the background of severe pressurization of the regime’s opponents and is a matter of grave concern. According to the chair of the working group on Belarus, the social-democrat Uta Zapf, this document was passed to the Belarusian Embassy in Berlin to familiarize the Belarusian authorities with the position of the German MPs.
‘The main demand of our resolution is that the election must be free and transparent, so that all candidates can participate in the electoral campaign without any obstacles, enjoy personal security and have equal access to media. Of course, during the debates many deputies expressed their disbelief that these demands will be executed, because during the last weeks the regime’s repressive actions against the opposition have been increasing. For instance, many activists of Milinkevich’s electoral headquarters have been imprisoned, and the candidate Kazulin has been beaten. The police confiscate agitation materials and circulations of the independent newspaper Narodnaia volia. The regime launches unprecedented massive assault on the alternative candidates, activists of their headquarters and all those who are in opposition to it’, -- said Uta Zapf.
The same day another German politician, Christian democrat Elmar Brock together with his colleagues in the European Parliament Bogdan Klich (Poland) and Aldis Kushkis (Latvia) made applied to the EU administration, demanding adequate reaction to the development of the events in Belarus. The members of the European Parliament urged Brussels to take concrete sanctions against the Belarusian officials who are directly or indirectly related to violations of the electoral legislation. They propose to expand the list of the persons who are banned entry to the EU and freeze their foreign accounts and actives.