Belarus lacks conditions for democratic presidential elections – statement by BNR Rada

In view of the announcement by the official authorities of Belarus of the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus on August 9, 2020 and the beginning of the nomination of candidates, the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic declares the following:

  1. At present, Belarus still lacks conditions for holding free and democratic elections that would meet both international standards, including the international obligations of the Republic of Belarus, and the letter and spirit of the current legislation of the Republic of Belarus. Obstacles have been created for nominating alternative candidates to A. Lukashenka. Among other things, there are no conditions for an election campaign in which all candidates would have the same opportunities, as well as no instruments to prevent administrative pressure on voters. There are no conditions for independent control and monitoring of the vote counting process, which once again creates a danger of mass falsification of voting results.
  2. Given the illegality of the 2004 referendum, which abolished the limit on the number of terms that one person can hold the presidency, A. Lukashenka has no legal right to run in the presidential election in Belarus.
  3. The coronavirus pandemic creates additional risks associated with the organization and conduct of elections during this period. Holding mass events, including elections, during a pandemic poses a threat to the health and lives of Belarusian citizens.

Referring to its statement of 13 October 2015 on the previous election of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the BNR Rada further calls on the authorities of the Republic of Belarus and all interested parties:

  • To guarantee the citizens of Belarus democratic rights and freedoms enshrined, inter alia, in the current legislation of the Republic of Belarus and in international treaties signed by the Republic of Belarus;
  • To create preconditions in Belarus for holding full-fledged free and fair elections, and then to hold re-elections to all state and local authorities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and international democratic standards.

The BNR Rada further calls on the international community to promote the democratization of Belarus and to put pressure on the official authorities of the Republic of Belarus to this end.

Referring to its statement of March 31, 2020, the BNR Rada calls on the Belarusian authorities to be open and accountable to the Belarusian society and demands that all necessary measures be taken immediately to ensure human health in the event of a pandemic.

The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic declares that democratic elections, respect for human rights and freedom of speech are the only possible ways to national consolidation of all Belarusians and to overcoming the international isolation in which Belarus has been in recent decades, and the only way to defend Belarus’ independence in the face of threats on the part of today’s nationalist and authoritarian Russia.