Unanimous support for more effective sanctions against Belarusian regime – Ward

15th July 2021 - Senator Barry Ward

The Seanad has today unanimously acknowledged the lack of fairness and transparency in last year’s Belarusian Presidential election and condemned the show trials and anti-democratic actions which have taken place since.


The motion was proposed by Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward at the same time as Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s visit to the country.


Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Ward said, “It is appropriate on this week when Svetlana Tikhanovskaya visits Ireland and on the day when she visits the Houses of the Oireachtas that we speak with one voice in condemning the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, what is happening in Belarus, the lack of democratic legitimacy of that regime and the need for change in that jurisdiction”.


Senator Ward tabled a motion acknowledging the lack of fairness and transparency in the Belarusian Presidential election in August 2020 and rejecting the democratic legitimacy of Alexander Lukashenko. The motion also condemns the anti-democratic actions of Mr Lukashenko and the show trials that have been conducted in relation to protesters against his regime.


Today, in the Seanad, this motion received unanimous support from all parties. Senators called for the release of all political prisoners, new elections that are free, fair and independently monitored, and for the European Commission to implement more effective sanctions against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.


“We cannot tolerate this autocratic dictatorship on Europe’s borders,” Senator Ward said.


“I welcome Ms Tikhanovskaya’s return to Ireland, where she has deep personal connections, and I am pleased to see the clear support she has been given by Irish citizens, our government, and the Belarussian community here,” he concluded.

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