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2006-03-14
One minute speech on the situation in Belarus before the presidential elections on the 19th March, 2005

Laima Andrikiene, MEP
One minute speech
EP Plenary Session
Strasbourg
March 13, 2006

Thank you, Mr. President.

There is almost no hope left that presidential election in Belarus next Sunday will be free and fair. The atmosphere during the election campaign is dangerous, it has been marked by the presidential candidate Aleksandr Kozulin heavily beaten by secret servicemen as well as many activists of the civil society being arrested and threatened to stop supporting democratic candidate Aleksandr Milinkievich.

In this context there were statements made by some EU officials, which I found very disappointing. After it became known that the European Parliament is planning to send an ad hoc delegation to Minsk, External Relations Commissioner stated (I quote): "They will speak for themselves".

Mr. President, may I kindly ask you to remind the Commission that Members of this House are the only elected representatives of the EU citizens in contrast with the European Commission members, and MEPs are entitled to speak on behalf of those who elected them and not for themselves only.

It is highly regrettable that the European Commission makes lamentable statements instead of expressing - at least - their moral support to MEPs going to observe elections in Minsk and in case of any provocation by the Lukashenko“s regime against parliamentarians stating being ready to take action of their defence.