Commentary

Independent journalist and writer from Minsk Valery Kalinovsky comments on elections in Belarus

There are important and possibly decisive developments in Belarus over the last 25 years of its independence. The elections, which have just finished, have shown a great desire of the people for change, for a new president, for a new, democratic, fair, socio-economic policy. And the thousands of rallies that took place all over Belarus showed this very, very clearly. Once again, very predictably, Alexander Lukashenko actually falsified the result in his favour. It is impossible to believe in 80% of the votes supporting him, and it was not the case.
There were many different examples of falsification, manipulation – before and after the elections. There was just manipulation of numbers. People protested in 33 cities and towns in Belarus. Tens of thousands attended the street protests. Authorities used against them brute force, the most modern techniques – water cannons, grenades. Different cars knocked down people. There are dozens of wounded, 3,000 arrested. And all this machinery was used to keep Alexander Lukashenko in power. Something boils in a boiler for a very long time, but eventually, it can lead to an explosion. Has this moment come in Belarus or not? It’s hard to say right now. But I think that society should have its say and eventually dismiss such an authoritarian leader who it is fed up with and who is hindering Belarus’s further development.

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