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MINSK, September 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Belarus is ready to lend an ear to recommendations about election campaigning but will not accept excessive pressure, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday at a meeting with CIS Executive Secretary and head of the CIS observer mission at the parliamentary elections Sergei Lebedev.
“We did our best to hold the elections as democratically as possible, without a hitch. Naturally, there might have been some imperfections – this is a whole country with more than 7,000 polling stations and about 7.5 million voters,” he said. “It only natural that there are some faults and we are determined to remove them.”
According to the Belarusian leader, remarks from the Western countries “do have some core of good sense” and he is ready “to hear and derive adequate conclusions.”
“The only thing we do not accept is a priori excessive pressure. We are ruled by law, by our constitution,” he stressed.
“We hold elections for ourselves and in line with our own laws. These laws, whatever imperfect, are in force and we must abide by them. But I am ready to hear serious criticism, we are ready to work on that,” Lukashenko said.
In turn, the head of the CIS observer mission, stressed the mission’s notes were unbiased, since the observers “saw the entire picture profoundly and in detail.”
“We came here as Belarus’ friends, we know each other better than Western observers and hence we see even better,” Lebedev said. The shortcomings, if any, he noted, were inconsiderable “in no way influencing the voting results.” “We do not dramatize these shortcomings but rather work to prevent them next time,” he added.
“We were unanimous that Belarus’ elections were held in strict compliance with the country’s laws, with its Election Code and Constitution. They were open, democratic and each Belarusian citizen was granted the right for free expression of the will,” Lebedev noted, stressing that this opinion was shared by representatives of all CIS mission members.
According to Lebedev, observers “were granted a possibility to study election-related materials. All doors were open to us, both at polling station and at power bodies.” “We had a comprehensive picture enough to make unbiased conclusions,” he stressed.