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Belarus: granting equal opportunities to the opposition decisive for further relations

Date

17 May 2016

Sections

Europe's East
Regional Policy

“Granting equal access to parliamentary elections for the representatives of the political opposition is the precondition for restoring parliamentary contact between the EU and Belarus”, stated Members of the European Parliament Sandra Kalniete, Bogdan Zdrojewski and David McAllister during an EPP Group working visit to Belarus (16-18 May).

"The parliamentary elections are scheduled for early autumn. The EP delegation will not interfere in the electoral campaign. However, it will closely observe the implementation of the OSCE recommendations made after the Presidential poll. The course of these elections will be very important and will be decisive for a further decision on whether to restore contact with the Belarusian Parliament", explained Bogdan Zdrojewski MEP who chaired the delegation. He also criticised the death penalty, asking for its suspension. "The release of political prisoners last year was a very important step. The next one should consist of the suspension of the death penalty as a first step to its abolition", he said.

"My expectation would be that the upcoming parliamentary elections become a turning point in building relations with Belarus. I expect them to be free, fair, transparent and with equal opportunities for the opposition", said Sandra Kalniete MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group.

"Belarus must remain high on the European agenda. We, the EPP Group, will stay engaged with the Belarusian partner parties. We will closely monitor the results of the parliamentary elections on 11 September”, concluded David McAllister MEP, Vice-President of the European People’s Party.

 

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