European Parliament`s Party of European Socialists expresses «deep concern» about presidential race in Belarus
In Tuesday`s statement, the PES describes as "totally unacceptable" the fact that "candidates, campaign supporters, journalists and NGOs` activists have been harassed, beaten up or arrested."
The statement urges the Belarusian leadership to hold a free and fair election in which presidential candidates would be able to "campaign freely" and have equal access to the media, while election observes would have the opportunity to "do their jobs."
PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has called on the Belarusian government "to prove that Belarus is not the last dictatorship in Europe" and has stressed that Belarus "has a responsibility to comply with international democratic standards for free and fair elections."
The PES has urged the EU to "maintain pressure on the regime of Mr. Lukashenko and to take further measures and sanctions against the regime if the elections are not free and fair."