The recent election for Belarus’ House of Representatives was as much free and democratic as possible, Aliaksandr Lukašenka said Tuesday in Belgrade while speaking in Serbia’s National Assembly.
“We won’t manage to secure more democracy and freedom than we had for the election in Belarus,” he said, according to the presidential press office. “Perhaps, we won’t be able to conduct a better election. We tried to please in every way possible not only our sponsors and fans in the East but also in the European Union. And what is the result? Some admired the results of the election and others said: the opposition did not get into the parliament, what a misfortune, that means [that the election was] bad, undemocratic, that means that there is no freedom again, there is a dictatorship. It’s utter nonsense. We did not put pressure on anyone.”
Mr. Lukašenka said that Western election observers’ conclusions were predetermined. “I wanted there to be three, five, ten opposition representatives [in the House of Representatives],” he said. “But how can they be put [into the House] if opposition activists won 3.5 percent of the vote? Two [opposition candidates] gained the maximum [vote share] of four percent. How can they be put into the parliament, and in a democratic way as they demand? One could not even lead them by the hand [into the House of Representatives].”
Mr. Lukašenka claimed that his political opponents enjoyed lavish foreign funding and had luxurious lifestyles. “They don’t work anywhere, yet they live in good villas, drive good cars. The people asks where [the money comes from]. There is no answer,” he said.
He said that Belarus’ voters had backed the “candidates who work hard and are useful to society,” according to the press office. “It will become clear in the course of the legislature’s work what opinions [MPs] have and defend but I’m completely sure that these are people who are loyal to their country and are patriots,” he said.
The West used to impose sanctions on Belarus because it did not like its policies but later realized that it was a mistake, said Mr. Lukašenka. “They looked for a pretext to find a way out of the situation and save their face,” he said. “And our position on the main agenda of international relations proved acceptable to the world. That’s why the situation has changed sharply and we try today to improve our relations with the European Union, opposing flatly any Brexits and its breakup.”
The OSCE and the EU said that the November 12-17 election had fallen short of international standards.