Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lukashenko On Creating The 'Appropriate, Calm, and Business-like' Conditions For His 'Democratic' Election To A Third Term As President Of Belarus

"Belarus will create appropriate conditions for people to decide in a democratic way whom to make the president, Aleksander Lukashenko said recently while visiting Mogilev region, Belarus.

The President has stressed that the present-day leadership of the country "does not need to use non-democratic steps or the administrative toolbar since it will bring only harm". "Sociological research of my rivals show that the rating of the effective president is over 60 per cent. The opposition can get today only 5-7 per cent. Tell me: why does Lukashenko need to rig the election in this situation? If you were me would you falsify the elections to be reproached then? I do not need this", the President underlined.

The situation in Belarus develops normally, the head of state noted. "Belarusians see everything and compare what was 5-10 years ago and what is now and in the neighboring states. "We did not sell the country out", the President said.

According to him, if someone has some doubt in the democracy of the elections, so everyone has his own point of view.

"Some western countries and oligarchs did not get what they wanted in Belarus. Certainly, they own mass media outlets today and fulfill someone’s instructions. But people should decide", Aleksander Lukashenko underlined.

Aleksander Lukashenko also noticed: "One of the peculiarities of the present-day election campaign in Belarus is that it is calm and business-like." ...

Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the United States of America WEEKLY DIGEST OF BELARUSIAN NEWS February 15, 2006


The Administrative Toolbar is used against freedom of speech and assembly in Minsk, Belarus.

Photo credit: Agence France Presse With thanks.

Belarus President Lukashenko closes opposition newspapers, jails opposition leaders, bans electoral broadcasting and political rallies, and plans to shut down transportation links to the capital city in pursuit of his quest for an "appropriate, calm, and business-like democratic" reelection. Belarus as a model twenty-first century Eurasian, rather than European, state?


"Has Poland's policy toward Belarus failed? No. The real failure is the European Union's policy....

What, then, can the EU do? It needs to collectively commit itself to promoting democracy (and not just offering technical assistance through government-approved programs). It needs to act in situations such as the ZPB affair, and not just react by issuing declarations of disapproval and regret. It needs to find ways of ensuring that Minsk loses something from these actions. It cannot wait (as it does now) for Belarus to make steps in the right direction before engaging, since Lukashenka will not take steps towards democracy. And, most importantly, it needs to demonstrate sustained, long-term commitment to promoting change in Belarus, rather than reacting to crisis situations on an ad hoc basis. Perhaps, then, the stakes for official Minsk would be raised. That might not stop it engaging in small propaganda wars, but it would make it think twice."

Vitali Silitski "Making Lukashenka Think Twice" Belarus News and Analysis August 25, 2005



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