home    archive    search    downloads    subscription    contacts

Belarusian Review

Chronicle of Events


WASHINGTON--Despite some improvements, the violence against opposition demonstrators and journalists in Belarus during Sunday's election shows the long road ahead for democratic progress there, leaders of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) said today.

"We resolutely condemn the crackdown by authorities, including misuse of forces against peaceful demonstrators and journalists attempting to exercise their professional duties," said U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Helsinki Commission Chairman. "The detention of most presidential candidates opposing incumbent Alexander Lukashenka, hundreds of democratic activists and journalists is deplorable as is the authorities' blocking of access to independent websites."

Helsinki Commission staff observed the election as part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly observation mission. Chairman Cardin and a U.S. Congressional delegation met last year with President Lukashenka and pressed for democratic reforms in the country.

"This election showed some procedural improvements," said Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), "Despite more open political activity, including greater opportunities for candidates to speak on live television, the overall political environment in Belarus remains undemocratic, with the electoral system at every level dominated by the regime, and with the state media disproportionately favoring the incumbent. While ballots appeared to have been cast in an orderly and efficient manner, observers assessed the vote count conduct negatively in nearly half of precincts observed."

The percentage of negative assessments equals that of the flawed 2008 parliamentary elections in Belarus.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce

This article appeared in
Belarusian Review, Vol. 22, No. 4
Copyright 2010 Belarusian Review
All rights reserved.

Printable Version Counter: 1362
Belarus' Forum
Belarusian Culture
Belarusians Abroad
Chronicle of Events
Legacy of Chernobyl
Media Watch
News Briefs
Culture & Society
Freedom of Religion
Independent Media
Belarus & the World
Human Rights
Politics - Opposition
Politics - Regime
Thoughts and Observations
New Articles
The Center for Belarusian Studies (23.01.2011)
Declaration by the Coordinating Committee of Belarusians of Canada (23.01.2011)
Blood and Special Operations in Belarus Politics (23.01.2011)
Belarus: That’s enough democracy (23.01.2011)
Wrong Carrot, Wrong Stick (23.01.2011)
Statement By the Rada of The Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile
28th December 2010
STATEMENT (23.01.2011)
BNR Rada Rejects Election Results (23.01.2011)
A backfire in Belarus (23.01.2011)
Demonstration in London (23.01.2011)
StatementBy the Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels)
And the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies
A Nasty Surprise in Belarus (23.01.2011)
In Belarus, a Slide Toward Eastern Aggression (23.01.2011)
Belarus Police Arrest Opposition Leaders (23.01.2011)
No Business as Usual (23.01.2011)
Readers' Favorites
Belarusian Weapons Exports:A Possible Source of Laundered Funds? (15914)
The Exchange Rate Policy for Belarus (15758)
Kitabs, the Unique Phenomenon of the Belarusian Language in "Encyclopedia of the Belarusian language" (15700)
Belarusica at the AAASS Convention (14717)
Vaclav Havel - in Defense of Jakub Kolas Humanities Lyceum (14654)
Putin Doctrine: Immediate Threat to Belarus (14248)
Belarusian Currency: Problems and Perspectives (14115)
Is Lukashenka Winning Back Hearts and Minds? (13757)
DZIADY and Kurapaty Unite the Opposition (13422)
Belarus Represented in the World Book Fair (13403)
Minsk Wants Compensation from Moscow for Abandoning National Currency (13402)
Opposition Forms New Pro-European Alliance (13240)
The Sad State of Agriculture (12882)
EU Aid Misuse Fears (12390)
The Third Wave, or the regimes current tactics in dealing with independent NGOs (11967)