Voices from Russia

Monday, 12 September 2016

12 September 2016. Look Who Voted in the Belarus Election!

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Look at who voted in the Belarus election… yes, Virginia, opposition candidates did win seats in the local talkshop. I think that this was rather cool…

BMD

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Monday, 15 October 2012

EU Considers Belarus Sanctions Extension

This is the REAL reason for EU sanctions

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On Monday, foreign ministers of 27 EU countries will meet in Luxembourg to consider extending sanctions on Belarus by one year over human rights abuses, lack of legitimacy, and failure to respect democratic principles. On 24 September, the day after the parliamentary elections in Belarus, Maja Kocjančič, a spokesman for EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, said, “The Foreign Affairs Council will hold a broader debate on Belarus, on 15 October, when sanctions will come under review”. Likely, it’ll add new companies and individuals to the list of some 270 Belarusian entities and people already blacklisted.

The last time sanctions were renewed, on 23 March, they were targeted at those Belarusian individuals, organisations, and companies “benefiting from and supporting the régime”, and according to the EU, infringing human rights. Belarus has been subject to EU sanctions since 1996, two years after Lukashenko became president, although they were temporarily suspended in 1999 and 2008. The West accuses the Belarusian authorities of persecuting the political opposition and the denial of basic rights and freedoms, in particular freedom of expression. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko maintains that pressure on Minsk is pointless; he said he hopes the EU will try to regain its credibility as a serious partner and a good neighbour.

Belarusian-EU relations worsened in late February when the EU expanded its sanctions against Belarus over its alleged human rights violations, after which Minsk ordered the Polish and EU ambassadors to leave the country. All EU ambassadors were withdrawn in response. In late March, the EU further expanded the list of Belarusian officials and companies covered by the sanctions. In July, relations worsened further after Belarus expelled Swedish Ambassador Stefan Eriksson in August over an incident in which a Swedish light aircraft dropped hundreds of teddy bears bearing pro-democracy slogans over Belarus. The EU also criticised the September parliamentary elections in Belarus, which according to Brussels, failed to meet international democratic standards. Pro-Lukashenko candidates won all 110 seats to the country’s parliament, the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus.

Editor’s Note:

To use the above standard, that one imposes sanctions if there are “human rights abuses, lack of legitimacy, and failure to respect democratic principles”, then, the EU has to break all ties with the USA, as its the leading warmonger on the planet, the Bushies ran torture facilities in Eastern Europe, democracy in the Southern USA is a joke, and GWB stole the 2000 election in a blatant power grab (hanging chads, anyone?).

The EU should election monitors to Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi to forestall Good Ol’ Boy corruption. I observe that the most violent, corrupt, and dishonest states in the USA have large Born Again sectarian fanatic populations. If you use the standard, “by their fruits ye shall know them”, then, that doesn’t speak well of minimalist evangelicalism, does it? The union of gun nutters and Born Again wackos is well-known. That speaks volumes of the konvertsy who wish to ally us with such godless sludge, doesn’t it?

BMD

 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Belarusian Opposition Skunked in Election… The True Reason for the “Boycott?”

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On Monday morning, the chairman of the Central Election Commission said, citing reports from the election districts, that 109 of 110 races were decided; the Belarusian opposition failed to win any parliamentary seats in voting on Sunday. Chairman Lidia Yermoshina said, “It’s doubtful that any [opposition candidates] won. None of the districts said anything about that”. She added that, at present, she’d only seen a list of the names of the winning candidates, but that winners were determined for 109 out of 110 districts. She noted that the vote in one district was insufficient to determine a winner and the authorities will hold another election. Yermoshina stated that voter turnout was 74.3 percent overall. The highest turnout, 80 percent, was in Vitebsk Oblast and the lowest, 60 percent, was in Minsk. Yermoshina also declared that the commission received 110 complaints.

Valery Shnyakin, the head of a delegation of election observers from the RF Federation Council told RIA-Novosti on Monday morning, “There were no serious violations in the voting. There are no complaints that could be serious enough to affect the outcome of the vote”. The Central Election Commission declared the election valid at 15.00 local time, after more than 50 percent of eligible voters had cast ballots. Meanwhile, members of five opposition groups and parties denounced the vote as opaque and undemocratic, citing interference in the electoral process by the authorities. The Central Election Commission countered by saying the opposition had resolved long before the election to pursue a course aimed at discrediting the vote in order to pander to a Western audience.

24 September 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20120924/176189741.html

Editor’s Note:

The USA bitches and moans about Byelorussia… I say, “The turnout for the US presidential election‘s considered good at 60 percent”. More Byelorussians voted than not (about a quarter did stay home… most were apolitical, not boycotting)… yet, the USA is a paragon of democracy and Byelorussia’s a shit pit of dictatorship. Most ordinary Byelorussians are content… as one told me, “Byelorussia’s not for sale, and Aleksandr Grigoryevich will see to that”. That’s the REAL reason for the Western caterwauling. It’s STILL the “People’s State”… and the Affluent Effluent sludge doesn’t like that. Fancy that…

BMD

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Belarus Voter Turnout Reaches Two-Thirds

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There have been validating voter turnouts in all 110 electoral districts in today’s parliamentary election in Belarus. The overall turnout has already reached two-thirds. CIS observers praised the election as very well-organised, free, and fair. Appearing at a Minsk news conference Sunday, Russian observer Maksim Grigoriev described the decision by the two main opposition parties to boycott the election as part of a ploy to use public money for self-promotion. 762 foreign observers are watching the election, mainly, from the CIS and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

According to Belarusian law, for the election results to be officially recognised, they must total more than 50 percent of the registered voters. Several hours before closing, voting reached that level. The election is proceeding in a calm atmosphere. Nikolai Lozovik, a representative of the election commission, said that no complaints from voters have come so far. However, some time before the election, Belarus’s two largest opposition parties, the People’s Front and the United Civil Party, pulled their candidates from the election. Six other opposition blocs called on people not to vote in the election.

Russian analyst Andrei Suzdaltsev believed, “This might have been expected. From the very beginning, no Belarusian opposition bloc had any feasible chances for doing well in these elections. No Belarusian opposition party managed to conduct a sound pre-election campaign. They failed to hold any large-scale rallies. They even failed to explain to people what their political views are. I believe it’s very unlikely that these elections would make any serious changes in Belarus’s political life”.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly, called the House of Representatives, has 110 members, one from each constituency. The number of candidates for seats was three times bigger. Voting stations for Belarusian citizens opened in 32 countries. Belarusians who live abroad were allowed to vote within five days before the election in Belarus itself. The Belarusian Election Committee said that about 26 percent of the eligible voters used this right to vote ahead of time. However, some Belarusian opposition leaders say that by this step, Lukashenko is actually forcing Belarusians abroad to vote.

Russian observer Pavel Svyatenko said, “The authorities will hardly take these claims of the opposition into account. The opposition’s viewpoint will hardly have any influence on the election results. The only thing that the Belarusian opposition can do to make the government to listen to their point of view in such a situation is to hold some rallies or other public actions after the elections. I don’t believe that the West strongly supported the Belarusian opposition. Currently, the West is just not strong enough for that. Europe is in the grip of an economic crisis. The USA, besides an economic crisis of its own, is also experiencing a political crisis. Without support from the West, the Belarusian opposition can hardly be strong”.

Starting from the 1990s, the USA and the EU haven’t recognised the legitimacy of the results of any presidential or parliamentary elections in Belarus. However, these countries still maintain diplomatic and economic relations with Minsk.

23 September 2012

Mikhail Aristov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_23/Belarus-voter-turnout-reaches-two-thirds/

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On Sunday, turnout reached just under two-thirds nationally in Belarus’ parliamentary election, with the authorities proclaiming the poll a success and the opposition saying it was a farce. Central Election Commission representative Lidia Yermoshina said she was pleased with how the election had gone, after the polls closed at 20.00 local time (21.00 MSK 18.00 UTC 13.00 EDT 10.00 PDT 03.00 24 September EADT), telling journalists in Minsk, “I’m delighted at the conduct of the election. Any election campaign which doesn’t arouse discontent in society is already successful”. National turnout was 65.9 percent by 18.00 local time (19.00 MSK 16.00 UTC 08.00 EDT 05.00 PDT 01.00 24 September EADT), she said. The lowest turnout was in the capital Minsk, where just 52.67 percent of eligible voters turned up.

The Belarusian Central Election Commission declared the elections valid at 15.00 local time (16.00 MSK 13.00 UTC 05.00 EDT 02.00 PDT 22.00 EADT), after more than 50 percent of eligible voters had cast ballots. In its statement, the commission said, “The appearance of half of the voters on the list allows us to declare the election valid”. Meanwhile, representatives of five opposition groups and parties said that the vote couldn’t be described as transparent or democratic due to interference by the authorities in the electoral process.

A statement signed by representatives of the Belarusian left party Fair World, the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Gromada), For Freedom movement, the Speak the Truth civil campaign, and BNF party, said, “Now, this [interference] gives us the right, independently of the voting results that’ll be declared by the election commission, in which opposition political blocs weren’t allowed, to say before the results are declared that we don’t recognise these 2012 elections to the chamber of deputies as fair, transparent, or democratic”. The opposition leaders signing the statement “called on international organisations to increase political pressure on the Belarusian government to stop repression, free political prisoners, and return rights and freedoms to all those arrested for political motives”.

The opposition claims the pre-election campaign was marred by pressure on opposition candidates by the state in which “the authorities illegally barred its opponents’ right to freely contact the electorate even to the limits allowed by the law”. Opposition leaders said the election process itself was characterised by “interference by state officials at all levels”. The Central Election Commission claims the opposition declaration is part of a strategy devised long before the election, of pandering to a Western audience. Central Election Commission secretary Nikolai Lozovik said on Sunday in response to the opposition declaration, “Some opposition politicians declared their non-recognition of the election result back at the start of this year. They do this so as to show the media and foreign politicians that Belarus has no elections, and they can’t be free and fair”. The two main opposition parties, United Civic and the BPF, pulled out of the parliamentary election a week ago and urged voters to go fishing or mushroom picking instead of going to the polls, which they call “pseudo-elections” for a “fake” parliament.

Observers from a CIS monitoring group said the election met international standards, the group’s leader, CIS Parliamentary Assembly leader Roman Amburtsev told journalists in Minsk, saying, “In my opinion, the electoral process is proceeding normally. International and nation observers are taking part at the polling stations”. Another election observer, Maksim Grigoriev of the RF Public Chamber, said the voting proceeded well from a technical viewpoint, noting, “First of all, the Central Election Commission worked well. The process was well prepared from a technical viewpoint. It’s all going well enough. From a standards viewpoint, I think we’re at an international level”. He also noted the misunderstanding of observers caused by the boycott by the two main Belarusian opposition parties who withdrew their candidates a week before the vote, adding, “I can say the situation with some parties, who pulled their candidates at the last minute, presented us with a few questions. A democratic system means candidates have to take part in elections regardless of how the authorities relate to them. Their game is clear, to use taxpayers’ money for advertising. Under Belarusian law this is legal, but from the viewpoint of generally-accepted democratic norms, it isn’t right”.

The election to the House of Representatives, its lower house of the National Assembly, will select 110 winners from 293 candidates, one from each district. The opposition claims the Belarus parliament has turned into a “pocket” chamber that rubberstamps President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s directives. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, was re-elected in in December 2010. Dozens of opposition figures, including political rivals, were arrested after violent protests in Minsk following the announcement of the presidential election results.

23 September 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/exsoviet/20120923/176172647.html

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