Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will be able to rule Parliament without any objections: after the early elections on Sunday, the only two opposition politicians will leave the House of Representatives. The 110 elected MPs all belong to parties that support the authoritarian president's government, as evidenced by official election results published on Monday. The turnout was therefore 77 percent.
However, the main leaders of the opposition as well as the two parliamentarians were not admitted to the election on Sunday. In any case, Parliament has only an alibi function, and the President makes all important decisions personally.
By Sunday evening, the opposition parties had reported nearly 600 irregularities in the election. They criticized that the officials in the polling stations had above all the number of voters higher than counted by election observers. "The result was a long time ago," said opposition politician Nikolai Statkevich the news agency Reuters.
"The authorities have selected only approved candidates, and a change of power in Belarus is not possible through elections," said Statkevich. He was imprisoned for four years following Lukashenko's presidential election in 2010.
In 25 years of office, no election was considered free and fair
The 65-year-old Lukashenko, who ruled the former Soviet republic authoritarian for a quarter of a century, announced on Sunday, according to the State Agency Belta, to want to compete again in the presidential election next year. He will not hold on to his chair until "my fingers turn blue," said Lukashenko, often referred to as "Europe's last dictator." No election under him was considered free and fair by international observers.
Another term for Lukashenko would run until 2025. Possible other candidates are considered to have no chance. The country, which is the only one still executing the death penalty on the European continent, is economically dependent on Russia. Lukashenko stressed that he would resist attempts to incorporate his country from Russia. In recent years, the President has sought to improve relations with the West, which repeatedly accuses him of ignoring human rights and intimidating the opposition and the media.