US Flays Belarus Presidential Poll Outcome

(RTTNews) - The United States on Monday outrightly rejected the results of Belarusian Presidential election which saw incumbent Aleksander Lukashenko winning yet another term, it has been reported.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs in a written statement said the election was not free and fair. It also assailed the Lukashenko government for ordering the arrests of political dissidents, fellow Presidential hopefuls and mediapersons.

"The United States strongly condemns the actions that the government of Belarus has taken to undermine the democratic process and use disproportionate force against political activists, civil society representatives and journalists. And we call for the immediate release of all presidential candidates and the hundreds of protesters who were detained," it said.

According to the White House, there are clear indications about attempts being made to stifle freedom of speech by clamping down on the internet.

"The actions taken over the last 24 hours, however, are a clear step backwards on issues central to our relationship with Belarus," the release said.

Gibbs also urged the immediate release of all Presidential candidates and several demonstrators arrested by government forces and called it retrograde.

However, Moscow has taken an almost diametrically opposite view of the Belarus episode with President Dmitry Medvedev describing the situation in the ex-Soviet Republic as an "internal affair."

This though puts Washington at loggerheads with its former Cold War-era rival even as the Barack Obama administration is currently on an overdrive to smoothen ties with Russia.

Belarus' Central Election Commission has revealed that Lukashenko won a landslide victory in Sunday's elections securing 80% of total votes polled.

by RTT Staff Writer


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