Slovak MP defends Lukashenko

A MEMBER of parliament for the Slovak Communist Party, Dagmar Bollová, defended the hard-line Belarus regime of Alexander Lukashenko at a press conference yesterday.

The conference dealt with the recent presidential elections in Belarus and had been called by László Nagy, the chairman of the Slovak parliamentary Human Rights Committee, and Balázs Jarábik of the Pontis Foundation NGO.

Nagy and Bollová were the only Slovak MPs to visit Belarus as members of an OSCE team of election observers. According to the SME daily, while Nagy criticized the course of the elections, Bollová defended Lukashenko, the incumbent president, who won the vote with more than 80 percent support. The international community has cast doubt on the results.

Bollová argued that there is no totalitarian regime in Belarus, and told a story about how Nagy had wanted to take a photograph at a polling station but had been stopped by a local policeman. While Nagy asked what law prevented him from taking pictures, Bollová told the officer that photography was Nagy's hobby, convincing him to allow the Slovak MP to take a snapshot.

Jarábik said he was not surprised by the communist MP's interpretation of the Belarus regime, noting that Bollová had also spoken on Belarus TV in support of Lukashenko.

Nagy said that the demonstrations in support of the Belarus opposition forces in Minsk are a sign that the people of Belarus are overcoming their fear of the Lukashenko regime.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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