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No Minsk spring March 2, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Belarus seems to be getting some much-deserved media attention in time for the presidential elections on March 19th. And today is a fairly momentous day, with one of the opposition candidates, Aliaksandr Kazulin, being beaten up and arrested when trying to enter an All-Belarusian People’s Congress (where the happy workers, the women in headscarves, no doubt, come to praise their dear leader and hear the details of the next pyatiletka). I’m happy to see the BBC having fairly frequent updates on events, as befits the occasion, and all the usual suspects are on the ball, as ever. Incidentally, the last of those sites, the ever-so-slightly over-testosteroned Charter’97, is having its site attacked so access is limited. And with tensions no doubt somewhat heightened after Kazulin being beaten up and detained, Milinkevich is due to hold a (n unauthorised) rally in Minsk this evening. The authorities appear to be cracking down pretty hard on any signs of dissent in the run-up to these elections so who knows how events might turn out later today? Still, one can hardly expect the police to just sit by and ignore a rally which hasn’t received official approval and which ghastly central Electoral Committee stooge Lidziya Yarmoshyna has called a provocation. Is it really the place of someone from the electoral commission to comment on anyone’s election campaign?

The opposition had hoped there would be just one opposition candidate, of course, and there has been some suspicion at Kazulin’s intent. Although he and Milinkevich are making noises of solidarity, it is hard to think anything other than the fact that all they will do is divide the opposition vote. I suppose as neither of them expects anything but a first-round Lukashenka win, perhaps this isn’t that important. In any case, for far better-informed blogger views of election goings-on, visit these three sites.

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