Lithuania's parliament passes resolution critical of Belarus' election
Lithuania's parliament on Thursday passed a resolution criticizing Belarus' presidential election and the brutal crackdown on the opposition's street protest on the election night, BelaPAN said.
The Seimas session was marred by scandal as MPs representing the Social Democratic Party insisted that a softer resolution be considered or that a debate on the subject be postponed until March 2011 altogether. After their calls were rejected, the lawmakers stood up, sang the Lithuanian anthem and walked out, according to the Baltic country's media reports.
As Tsimafey Dranchuk, spokesman for an opposition group called Maladaya Belarus, told BelaPAN, the resolution said that the vote had fallen short of OSCE standards.
The Seimas urged the Belarusian authorities to release all of the people arrested after the election night violence and avoid using the situation to put pressure on Alyaksandr Lukashenka's political opponents.
The parliament called on the Lithuanian president and cabinet, as well as all OSCE member states not to recognize Belarus' election as democratic.
The resolution also suggested that the Belarusian authorities "engage in a real, more open and more responsible dialogue with the OSCE and other international organizations and fully implement their proposals so that a truly democratic election is held in Belarus as a result."