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Candles out! March 16, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Nothing is more likely to guarantee a deafening silence in my comments box than the mention of the word Belarus in a post. But, comment-slut that I am, it would be doubly naughty to ignore Belarus today, the 16th of the month, a date which has seen a series of ‘Solidarity with Belarus’ days over recent months, and all the more so when we remember that the elections are being held this Sunday.

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).



1. Bowleserised - March 16, 2006

I am posting a comment here in an effort not to appear shallow or unconcerned about world politics.

Er, will that do? Can I go back to thinking about kittens and shampoo now?

2. leon - March 17, 2006
3. leon - March 17, 2006

Erm, the linked word there was meant to be “biography”. Made a right haimes of that one.

4. BiB - March 17, 2006

Thank you both for bucking the trend marvellously and making there be comments to a Belarus post. Yes, please feel free to have non-Belarus thoughts now (although things are hotting up, actually, and the authorities are threatening the charge of terrorism offences and the death penalty for… for, well, anyone they don’t that much like, really). Although I agree, what an all-rounder his CV makes him sound. Finding old graves? Quantum laser whatsit? Christ. Hope he wins…

5. daggi - March 18, 2006

His CV reminds me a bit of the Woman Ceaucescu, except that he probably has studied all that stuff he lists. But where’s the “Hobbies and general interests section” (‘Doing puzzles, crosswords, walking’ is apparently a neutral answer)?

Anyway, what an idiot – why am I surprised at this, it’s not as if I’d never noticed it before? – that Neil Clark is. He’s praising Hitler for having reduced unemployment. By 6 million, presumably. At least he got the context right (comparison with Lukaschenko)… And when will N.C. start writing for the Junge Welt?

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