Lithuania brands Belarusian presidential election as undemocratic

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has blasted the presidential election in Belarus on Sunday calling them as 'undemocratic.'

Thousands of Belarusians were brutally dispersed in clashes with police late on Sunday when opposition protestors tried to storm the parliament after preliminary results showed strongman Alexander Lukashenko had won his fourth consecutive term as president.

"The election cannot be called as democratic although some moments [of the election] were positive," Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis said in a statement.

He said the positive moments were how the registration of presidential candidates was organized and the amount of broadcast time they were offered for their campaign speeches.

"However, the count of the votes and the atmosphere were negative," Azubalis added.

Police brutally dispersed the demonstrators when they tried to storm Parliament. Several presidential candidates were injured in clashes, and one, Vladimir Neklyaev, received a head injury as a result. At least 600 protesters were detained.

CIS observers described the elections as "transparent," but the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote count was flawed and condemned the heavy-handed approach of the Belarusian police to the protests.

The United States condemned the electoral violence, including the attacks on presidential candidates and violence against journalists and civil society activists. European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said he was "shocked" by the "outrageous and disgraceful" attack on Neklyayev and called on Lukashenko to punish all those involved in the violence.

VILNIUS, December 21 (RIA Novosti)


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