Canada condemns fraudulent constitutional referendum in Belarus
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“Canada condemns Belarus’s recent constitutional referendum, which is an attack on democracy and a threat to security and stability in the entire region. Canada will therefore not recognize the results of this referendum.
“The Lukashenko regime has used a campaign of fear and repression to influence the vote and supress democratic opposition. Independent voices and media are being silenced, political prisoners remain behind bars, and tens of thousands of Belarusians have been exiled.
“Moreover, the referendum lacks the democratic legitimacy as independent observers, including those from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), have been barred from evaluating the voting process to ensure its integrity.
“In these constitutional amendments, Lukashenko has strengthened his authoritarian grip on the Republic of Belarus. He has increased the power of unelected loyalists, opened the door to nuclear weapons, introduced presidential impunity, and taken Belarus backwards in terms of democracy and human rights. The Lukashenko regime will be held accountable for these deeply troubling acts.
“On Friday, February 25, 2022, Canada announced sanctions on Belarus due to its support to Russia in the latter’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Canada will monitor the situation in Belarus and will not hesitate to look at appropriate measures to respond to this deeply flawed referendum, which only serves to harm global stability.
“We stand in steadfast support of the Belarusian people and remain ready to take action with international partners whenever and wherever democracy is threatened.”
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
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