Dominic Raab calls for 'fair' election in Belarus after refusing to comment on US controversy

Dominic Raab on BBC Breakfast

Dominic Raab on BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

Dominic Raab has called for a fresh presidential election in Belarus following the “despicable” actions of Alexander Lukashenko, despite insisting it would not comment on the US elections.

The foreign secretary highlighted findings by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which he said “exposed the fraud at the heart of the presidential elections” in August.

Raab said: “We pushed for this independent investigation and it has exposed the fraud at the heart of the presidential elections and the despicable actions taken by Lukashenko’s regime to suppress the Belarusian people.

“New elections which are free and fair must now be organised, and those responsible for the violence against demonstrators held to account.”

But after rushing to criticise Belarus, Raab has avoided criticising Donald Trump over his election response.

Asked on Times Radio about Trump’s comments about “fraud” in the election, Raab said: “I think different countries have different ways that they approach the voting system.

"I know that there is obviously a heated debate about the balance and the propriety of posted votes versus votes cast in the ballot box in a polling station – I’m just not getting drawn into that.

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"We are right in the heated aftermath where both candidates are making statements … if there are any contentious aspects around it, it is for the courts and the electoral college system to decide that.

"I’m not getting sucked in at all into that debate."

Peter Harding remarked: "You’ll happily comment on Belarus’s elections whilst refusing to criticise Trump’s egregious behaviour in America. What a hypocrite you are, Mr Raab!"

"I thought you didn't comment on other nations elections?" asked Edward Hortop.

Paul Deery said: "Not only couldn't he find Dover-Calais Ferry route... he can't find a backbone to criticise Trump's outrageous claims about wanting to stop vote counting. Belarus? Straight into TV studios to criticise!"

Alphonse Rawlinson tweeted; "I hate using insulting terms in politics have been trying to get better at it but this man really is a weasel. Terrifying what is going on in Belarus but Raab needs to be consistent."

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