Riigikogu to hold extraordinary Belarus meeting on Tuesday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Centre and Reform Party members at the opening session of the Riigikogu in September 2019.
Centre and Reform Party members at the opening session of the Riigikogu in September 2019. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Speaker of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) has called for an extraordinary sitting of the Riigikogu to discuss the situation in Belarus, after the returning to power of President Alexander Lukashenko, and the wave of mass protests which followed.

The sitting will take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m., with the agenda consisting of an application made by 88 members of the 101-seat chamber. The Riigikogu is currently still on summer recess, hence the sitting being conducted on an extraordinary basis.

The statement, called "In Support of Democracy and Civil Society in Belarus", will be read at the session, the Riigikogu's press service announced on Monday.

The sitting will convene after all points of the agenda are worked through.

Following the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, mass protests have taken place in Minsk and other cities, as well as internationally, with protesters calling for new and fair elections after long-time president Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term.

It is widely believed that opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya won the election and that the recent elections were rigged in favor of Lukashenko.

An exit poll conducted in Tallinn and 25 major cities in Europe showed large-scale support for the opposition candidate among Belarusians living in Estonia, further legitimizing suspicions of vote-rigging.

The Estonian government has said it does not recognize the results of the elections which have been denounced as neither free nor fair by the international community. Estonia has called for new elections to be held.

Estonia and the other Baltic states have stood in support of new and fair elections in Belarus, raising the issue to the United Nations Security Council, agreeing on sanctions for Belarusian officials responsible.

International protest has also followed a crackdown on demonstrators in Belarus by that country's security forces.

Protests in Minsk on Sunday attracted as many as over 100,000 people, according to some estimates.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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