Observers in Brest: "In fact, there was no counting of votes"
According to observers in Brest, the procedure of vote counting is the key issue that did not allow them to consider the elections open and transparent.
During the early voting, many observers asked election commissions to make sure that the counting of votes could be transparent. However, there were no positive responses from the election officials. For example, Alena Shabunia, head of precinct election commission No. 2 in Brest, considered it inappropriate to consider the proposal at a meeting of the election commission, citing the fact that such meetings could only hear appeals against decisions of the commission.
Despite raised hopes, a full turn toward Europe seems unlikely.
Do recent events indicate that Belarus could fully turn towards Europe and pull away from Russia politically? In the last few months, a number of developments have excited observers in international media and revitalised old debates about the former Soviet country’s future. But despite positive indications, a broader view suggests that this prediction may be overly optimistic.
In the judgment of most media freedom or democracy indexes, the Eastern European country is labelled as one of the worst in Europe and in recent years Belarus has shown no tangible progress towards establishing a free media atmosphere.