Foreign Minister: Belarus best scenario would be re-elections

Recognition of the other candidate [Svetlana Tihanovskaya] as the winner of the Belarusian presidential election would be problematic both legally and politically, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (“New Unity”) said in an interview to Latvian Radio August 17.

He said that the best scenario in Belarus would be new elections.

“In fact, the only way to understand who has the trust of the Belarusian public without falsification is re-election. We do not know at the moment what the real proportion of votes is,” said Rinkēvičs, stressing that the re-election should guarantee equal opportunities for all candidates and take place under the supervision of international observers.

He said that the current Central Election Commission of Belarus had “lost faith in the eyes of Belarusians themselves and also internationally”. In his opinion, the creation of a new Central Election Commission is necessary, with representatives of the opposition, various civil groups and the current power represented accordingly. “Let's not forget it's not as simple as it seems to us sometimes - everybody out and a new life begins. It is also a certain evolution process,” said Rinkēvičs.

He also said that the worst case scenario - Russia's intervention - should be borne in mind. The European Union is ready to act, even if that happens. “I think Russia should have a rational understanding that it would be contrary to Russia's own long-term interests. Belarus' protests are not against Russia, Belarus' protests are against a specific person,” the minister added.

In Belarus, citizens are protesting the results of the presidential elections held last week. According to the information provided by the Belarusian Central Election Commission, President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the votes and opposition candidate Svetlana Tihanovskaya – 10.1%.

Rinkēvičs has previously stated he supported sanctions against Belarusian president Lukashenko regime. Last week, Baltic Prime Ministers issued a joint statement for the elections to run again.

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