Selin ATAY-TDO- The European Parliament said Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko should no longer be recognized as president after November, when his term expires.
In addition to nonrecognition of Belarusian leader’s presidency, the European Union called for economic sanctions to be imposed on Lukashenko.
In an overwhelming show of support for pro-democracy protesters in Belarus, the European Union assembly voted 574 to 37, with 82 abstentions, to reject the official results of an August 9 presidential election that the West considered as rigged.
The Lithuanian EU lawmaker heading parliament's efforts to pressure Belarus's top officials Petras Austrevicius said that "The EU needs a new approach towards Belarus, which includes the termination of any co-operation with Lukashenko's regime".
Even though the European Parliament's vote does not have legal bindingness, it carries political importance. Also, the European Parliament’s vote have an impact on how the EU invests in Belarus or grants financial support.
"Once the term of office for the incumbent authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expires on 5 November, parliament will no longer recognize him as the president of the country," according to a statement issued by the parliament.
On Thursday, seventeen members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have formed an independent group of experts in order to investigate the alleged human rights abuse and elections fraud in Belarus.