Monday, March 20, 2006
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Don't expect Orange Revolution II
Belarus had a presidential "election" over the weekend, which current president Aleksandr Lukashenko won handily.. I use quotations because the OSCE reported:
The Belarusian presidential election on 19 March failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections, despite the fact that voters were offered the potential for a genuine choice between four candidates.The full text of the OSCE report can be found here.
There have been some protests in Minsk because of the outcome, but as I've written before, I'm not expecting a Orange revolution in Belarus anytime soon. This Times of London report by Jeremy Page doesn't make me feel any more sanguine:
President Lukashenko of Belarus declared yesterday that he had thwarted a Western plot to overthrow him, pouring scorn on the thousands who protested against his election victory.One thing I love about British papers, however, is that they can be much more blunt than comparable American papers. Take this paragraph:
Shown on national television, the conference was sure to appeal to his supporters in the countryside and the elderly. However, it only reinforced his image among younger Belarussians and most Westerners as a deluded megalomaniac.UPDATE: A Fistful of Euros has more... including a link to a this fake Belarusian news blog, which is apparently being used as part of a policy simulation exercise for University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy.
posted by Dan on 03.20.06 at 06:16 PM
I lived in Minsk in 1998-99, and it was a strange place then, having spent the previous 3 years in Ukraine and Russia. I was working on administering US exchange programs, and there was distinct feeling that there were parts of the government did not want us doing what we were doing. It was interesting in that meeting rooms that had been reserved all of a sudden became "unavailable" as well as articles in the local papers where we were working talking about us in ways that made it clear that the people should be careful if they associated with us.
The people I worked with were great, and I saw that there was a distinct difference between the young/old and urban/rural in the way they viewed the government and where the country was going.
There will be no "Orange" revolution in Belarus, at least not in the near future, but I believe over time pressure will grow. The real problem is that Russia still supports them, when that changes, Belarus will change almost overnight.
Just my thoughts
Does anyone have this map showing Belarus the size of France(area of Belarus Does anyone have this map showing Belarus the size of France(area of Belarusposted by: lee on 03.20.06 at 06:16 PM [permalink]
Does anyone have this map showing Belarus the size of France(area of Belarusposted by: lee on 03.20.06 at 06:16 PM [permalink]
Can't get more than one line to postposted by: lee on 03.20.06 at 06:16 PM [permalink]
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