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Presidential election 2020 in Belarus

24 Jul 2020

FM comments on election campaign in Belarus

FM comments on election campaign in Belarus
Vladimir Makei. An archive photo

MINSK, 24  July (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Vladimir Makei commented on some events of the election campaign during a press conference after the meeting with Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics in Riga 24 July, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei stressed that the election campaign is held in strict accordance with the Belarusian law. “Five candidates, including the incumbent president and other candidates who represent opponents of the government, the opposition, have been registered. Therefore, one cannot say that opposition forces are not allowed to run,” the minister said. Some potential candidates were denied registration on well-founded grounds. A criminal money laundering case was opened into one of them. The other failed to collect the sufficient number of valid support signatures,” the minister said.

The minister also commented on the Latvian journalist's statement about the detentions in Belarus. “People were detained for violating the rules and laws of Belarus,” Vladimir Makei noted.

“Any political campaign, be it in Latvia or Belarus or any other country, should be held in an open, transparent and fair manner. It is not good when modern tools such as social networks, Telegram channels are used to artificially escalate the situation (in particular now in Belarus), to incite anti-government action, to threaten civil servants, members of election commissions of various levels and law enforcement officers. We believe that such things are unacceptable and they should be stopped,” Vladimir Makei said.

Vladimir Makei stressed that the election campaign is held in strict accordance with the Belarusian law. “All power structures in Belarus are working to make sure that the election campaign is held in full accordance with the law, in conformity with human rights. At the same time, the Belarusian leadership will not allow the destabilization of the country or the loss of sovereignty and independence of the state," the minister said.
Vladimir Makei expressed confidence that Belarus will be able to hold the current election campaign “in a calm manner, without any disruptions” and that the country will be able to continue its policy towards the European Union and the west as a whole, and that the relations will not be thrown back to 2010 or 2006. In any case, the Belarusian authorities are genuinely interested in this progressive movement [towards strengthening cooperation with the EU] to continue after this year’s presidential election,” said the minister of foreign affairs.

As BelTA reported earlier, the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs is on a one-day working visit to Latvia on 24 July. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko was expected to visit Latvia in April. However, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the visit was postponed.

In March, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Latvian President Egils Levits had a telephone conversation at the initiative of the Latvian side. The heads of state discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation, mainly trade and economic cooperation. The neighboring countries are primarily interested in cargo transportation, energy transit, industrial cooperation.

At the end of June, Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Egils Levits on the 65th birthday. The president said he expects to continue working together to strengthen good-neighborly relations, which should be facilitated by the planned high-level contacts. “I hope that we will be able to meet in the hospitable Riga soon to discuss ways to deepen cooperation between Belarus and Latvia,” the Belarusian head of state stressed.

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