Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

Lukashenka: Elections should not destabilize situation in Belarus

Iryna LEWSHYNA, Naviny.by

The coming House of Representatives elections should not destabilize the situation in the country, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in Minsk on Tuesday, speaking at a meeting with top OSCE election observers.

"Thank God the previous election did not lead to [destabilization] in our country and I will be doing my utmost to ensure that this does not happen after these parliamentary elections as well," the government's news agency BelTA quoted Mr. Lukashenka as saying.

"We get much advice from many. We are good students and it's never late to learn. But we will be doing everything to ensure the best for the Belarusian people, that we fulfill and comply with the main democratic criteria of such elections."

The government's main task is to ensure "security, integrity and adherence to principles" in the coming elections, said Mr. Lukashenka. "And I will be doing everything I can to ensure that the elections are conducted in such a way and that after the elections our country remains as much open, clean, honest and safe," he said.

He reportedly assured the OSCE observers that their mission would prove successful and that there would be an "honest and worthy" ballot.

The meeting was attended by Kent Harstedt, vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly who is special coordinator of the short-term OSCE observer mission for the elections, and Tana de Zulueta, head of the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.