PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been urged to allow a “smooth transition” of power in a bombshell intervention by the Lord Chancellor.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said he was “biting his nails” awaiting the result of the US election and piled pressure on the incumbent President to hand over power quickly if he loses as expected.
Downing Street had been coy about commenting on the close result.
But Mr Buckland risked sparking a major transatlantic row with Team Trump by saying: “The important thing from our point of view is that we want the major democracy in the world to have a smooth transition, whether it’s a change of president or whether it’s the same president, we wish them well.”
He added: “We very much hope that all these issues can be resolved and that the transfer of power, or the change to a new administration can be as smooth as possible.”
Mr Raab said 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.
The UK has already imposed sanctions on Mr Lukashenko and his allies following the election and the brutal crackdown on protests which followed.
People in England face £200 fine for leaving home without an excuse from today
The Foreign Office said the OSCE report found overwhelming evidence that the elections were falsified and “massive and systematic” human rights violations.
Mr 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.”
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