Candles out! March 16, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
The coverage of these elections has been not too bad from a European perspective, especially in view of normal coverage levels where Belarus is concerned. The beeb has featured more than the odd piece. Bloggers do their bit. There’s the amusing spectacle of western Lukashenka-supporters (or their commenters) ‘hoping’ that he’ll win this Sunday’s election in a snub to all those wicked people hoping there might actually be democratic elections (with links to and reproductions of Lukashenka speeches. Thank god they’re in translation. You’d struggle to understand his Russian and, remembering what a great defender of Belarusian sovereignty Alyaksandr Ryhoravich is, he rarely chooses to string a sentence together in the native tongue). Um. Why hope? Do you really think he might lose?
Well, Belarus on Sunday is more likely to do a Kazakhstan than a Kyrgyzstan. The opposition has done better this time round than last time and had been even more united till Kazulin added his candidacy to the ranks of the opposition. Some think a suspicious move. Almost certainly a counterproductive one as far as the opposition is concerned, although he has been the person involved in the most headline-grabbing events. One positive thing to take away from the outrageous litany of arrests of people connected to the opposition is that it shows that Lukashenka clearly believes this is a force worth fighting against, so he’s sticking them in prison till the events are out of the way. You just have to hope that Lukashenka’s grim project is stopped in its tracks before he succeeds – thankfully, this looks unlikely – in achieving his ultimate aim of tagging Belarus bag on to Russia (in a soyuz of two equal nations, you understand).