Washington threatens Belarus

Barry Stoller bstoller at utopia2000.org
Mon Sep 10 14:46:26 MDT 2001

Reuters. 10 September 2001. U.S. Says Lukashenko Win in Belarus

WASHINGTON -- The United States on Monday lambasted as "meaningless" and
undemocratic an election in Belarus that returned President Alexander
Lukashenko to power.

"Regrettably, no part of the electoral process has been transparent or
fair. Lukashenko has merely used the facade of elections to engineer a
meaningless victory for himself," State Department spokesman Philip
Reeker told a news briefing.

He backed up this comment with criticism of the election by Europe's top
rights watchdog, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

It found the vote on Sunday was marked by "fundamental flaws and
consistent interference by Belarussian authorities," Reeker said.

Denouncing the vote as undemocratic, in keeping with the OSCE findings,
he said, "Elections that are neither free nor fair cannot be
internationally recognized."

[N.B.] Reeker said the United States, which has long been a critic of
Lukashenko's authoritarian rule, would consult with its European
partners and pursue measures to promote civil society and restore
democracy to Belarus.

Lukashenko, who scooped 75.6 percent of the vote, had threatened to
expel the U.S. envoy to Minsk Michael Kozak, and the head of the OSCE
office there, on grounds the organization was spearheading a Western
spying operation to oust him.

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Barry Stoller

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