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EU: freer election campaign in Belarus this year

11-06-2010 01:17 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: BelTA

The European Union praises a freer presidential election campaign in Belarus in 2010. This statement was made by Bundestag member, Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs Ronald Pofalla in Minsk on 4 November, BelTA has learnt.

“We see that the situation has improved in Belarus. The restrictions that existed before, in particular on collecting signatures for potential candidates, have been lifted,” he said.

Ronald Pofalla noted that free and fair elections need certain standards, like no obstacles for the registration of presidential candidates, balanced composition of election commissions, and an access for international observers. He also said that he will closely watch the conduct of the election campaign. In his opinion, today’s political climate is a way different from that of the previous years.

As for the possibility of putting forward a single candidate from the opposition at the 2010 elections, Ronald Pofalla said that he did not give any recommendations of this kind to potential presidential candidates representing the opposition. In his view, the participation of several opposition candidates is a demonstration of pluralism.

Apart from that, Ronal Pofalla spoke about death penalty in Belarus. He believes that it is a major obstacle for Belarus-EU rapprochement. “The major hindrance for a closer cooperation is the retention of capital punishment in Belarus. It is unacceptable. This is a major value of the Council of Europe; and the absence of death penalty is essential for a state governed by the rule of law,” he said.

Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) is Belarus' biggest news agency providing the latest news about politics, economy, sports, culture and everyday life in Belarus. BelTA's reporters operate in Belarus, Moscow, Kyiv, Chisinau, Warsaw, Vilnius, Caracas.
Among other things BelTA products include the weekly 7 Dnei (7 Days), which circulation approaches 40,000 copies, and Economy of Belarus Magazine, a quarterly in Russian and English, with the audience of 6,500 readers. Moreover, BelTA publishes books, brochures, posters, booklets and other promotional materials. BelTA promotes, designs and provides technological and informational support for webpages of government agencies, Belarusian enterprises and organizations.

Aleksei Fomich, Deputy Editor of the Translations Department (English), Central Release Office, Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA
26 Kirova Street, Minsk, 220030, Belarus
af@belta.by
+375172274766
www.belta.by

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