91,305 of 125,000 signatures

Leaders of the 27 member states of the European Union, Charles Michel, Head of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs

Petition

The people of Belarus have the right to decide on their future and freely elect their leader. Following the disputed elections on August 9, 2020 and the violent crackdown of peaceful protesters by President Aleksandr Lukashenko in cities across Belarus, we demand that the European Union and its Member States:

  1. Refuse to officially recognise Aleksandr Lukashenko as President of Belarus
  2. Support new fair and free elections in Belarus as soon as possible
  3. Provide all necessary support to the people of Belarus, including by recognising the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, as a necessary counterpart in any diplomatic or international talks over the future of Belarus and its people.

Why is this important?

Alexandr Lukashenko, “Europe’s Last Dictator”, has been ruling Belarus with an iron grip for 26 years, suppressing democracy and smashing any dissent. But it’s possible his hold on power may finally come to an end.

On August 9, Lukashenko proclaimed another landslide electoral victory despite clear signs that the election was rigged. But this time it was too much for the people of Belarus!

Thousands of people marched on the streets of Minsk and other cities to challenge the result. These brave defenders of democracy were met by riot police, and dozens of protesters were beaten and injured over the past two weeks. More than 6,000 people have been arrested. [1]

What happened this summer in Belarus cannot be called elections: main opponents are either imprisoned, or barred from registration. [2] Lukashenko's opponent in the elections, Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, was forced to leave the country and is now in exile in the EU, in Lithuania. [3] Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign was run on the promise to establish fair and free elections within 6 months. [4]

What matters now is the EU’s response. The EU has already signalled that it will issue sanctions against President Lukashenko and the ruling elite, but this is not enough. [5] The EU can stand up to Lukashenko by refusing to recognise him as the President and support free and fair elections as soon as possible.

The EU needs to provide all the necessary support to guarantee new elections, including by recognising the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, as a necessary counterpart in any diplomatic or international talks over the future of Belarus and its people.

Together, let’s tell EU leaders to stand with the people of Belarus and call for free and fair elections in Belarus.


References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/12/belarus-protesters-and-police-clash-for-third-night-as-eu-threatens-sanctions
  2. https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/opinion/what-is-happening-in-belarus-cannot-be-called-elections/
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/10/belarus-opposition-candidate-rejects-election-result-protests-svetlana-tikhanovskaya-lukashenko
  4. https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/04/belarus-presidential-election-rising-opposition-star-svetlana-tikhanovskaya-speaks-to-euro
  5. https://www.dw.com/en/belarus-eu-sanctions/a-54564440

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