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Brussels, 24 September 2012
Statement by the High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the parliamentary elections in Belarus
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made the following statement:
"Yesterday’s parliamentary elections represent yet another missed opportunity to conduct elections in line with international standards in Belarus.
The EU has followed closely developments during the pre-electoral period and on election day. There were some improvements in the electoral process, such as an improved Electoral Code, but regrettably the elections took place against the background of an overall climate of repression and intimidation.
We note the ODIHR’s assessment that the elections were not administered in an impartial manner, with key OSCE commitments not fully respected, including citizens’ rights to associate, to stand as candidates and to express themselves freely.
We encourage the authorities to take steps to fully implement Belarus' international commitments to democratic principles and human rights, and stand ready to assist Belarus to this end."