Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Elections in Belarus

Delivered in Plenary - 26th October 2012

Madam President

I was extremely disappointed – but not altogether surprised – to receive the negative reports about the recent Belarus elections. These elections represented a rubber-stamping exercise to support a foregone conclusion. The Lukashenko regime, now in its 19th year, has been ruthless in its persecution of political opponents and gagging of the press as part of a desperate attempt to cling on to power by whatever means.

To this end, one man’s hubris has come at the expense of the hopes and dreams of a generation of Belarusian people, denied the opportunity to determine their own future in an atmosphere of fairness, transparency and freedom from fear, including fear of the KGB. Our only hope must be that the citizens of Belarus will eventually be granted the chance to vote for their own leaders, and live the lives that they choose. We in the European Union and in this Parliament should afford them every assistance to achieving that noble goal.