European leaders refuse to recognize results of Belarusian presidential election
The leaders of European Union countries have refused to recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, announced German Chancellor Angela Merkel following an extraordinary EU summit on Wednesday, August 19.
According to Merkel, the European Union expresses its support for the peaceful demonstrators in Belarus, and calls on the country’s leadership to refrain from violence and enter into a dialogue with the opposition.
Merkel underscored that the people of Belarus should decide the path their country will take, and warned other countries, Russia in particular, against attempts at external influence.
Earlier in the day on August 19, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya) released an appeal to the European Council, asking European leaders not to recognize the results of the August 9th presidential elections in Belarus.
According to election officials, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) won 80.1 percent of the vote; Tikhanovskaya officially came in second with 10.1 percent. All of the presidential candidates, except for Lukashenko, refused to recognize the outcome of the vote.