Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Andrey Sannikaw pointed out at a news conference held in Minsk on Saturday that Belarus’ ongoing presidential election should by no means be recognized as free and fair.
The candidates noted that they had already written a joint statement saying that the election was neither free nor fair, and that the international community should not recognize it. Mr. Nyaklyayew said that the statement would be released as soon as the voting process was over.
"During the final stage of the presidential race, candidates were kept away from the broadcast media and were unable to respond to the torrents of lies that were poured on them from television screens, and call on people to vote against the current government," Mr. Nyaklyayew said.
Presidential candidates have almost no representatives on precinct election commission, he noted. "Representatives of opposition parties account for only 0.025 percent of the commissions’ membership, but we already have evidence of election frauds and we are ready to produce it to foreign observers tomorrow, after the closure of the polls," he said.
Mr. Sannikaw stressed that he expected the international observers, including those of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia, to make an "absolutely honest" assessment of the entire presidential campaign. "The reaction that I expect from the international community is to help Belarus get rid of the dictatorship," he said.