Homiel region: Youtubing farmer set to seek presidency

On May 10, farmer and vlogger Yury Hantsevich addressed Belarusians on his YouTube channel. The man announced his intention to run for president.

In his video message, Hantsevich expressed outrage at the policy pursued by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

“He has taken hold of all branches of power. It is impossible to freely express our opinions. It is impossible to gather together [i.e. hold peaceful assemblies – Belsat]. One cannot make any changes. All Belarusians feel fear. Everyone is afraid of losing their jobs and therefore, they are silent. They discuss the issues only in kitchens. We need to draw the line with such things,” the statement reads.

The vlogger also urged compatriots to subscribe to his YouTube channel and A Country For Life channel created by another critic of Lukashenka, Syarhei Tsikhanouski. The latter was detained in Mahiliou and put in the predetention centre on May, 6.

In the course of the 2019 parliamentary campaign, Yury Hantsevich launched a campaign which caught the eye of almost all independent media outlets. He came to the pickets by tractor; when electioneering in the streets, he was accompanied by a cow and a goat.

Authorities can hold elections without any voters, political scientists claim

As reported earlier, the 2020 presidential election is scheduled for August, 9. Over the last three days, many people have profiled their presidential ambitions, including former MP Hanna Kanapatskaya, Belarusian hi-tech park founder Valery Tsapkala, opposition leader and former political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich.

In late January, five Belarusian opposition parties agreed to nominate a single candidate for the 2020 presidential elections. Their representatives declared that the primaries would last until May and would also be conducted on the Internet. However, on May 10, a group of Belarusian opposition politicians said that the COVID-19 threat took the ‘full participation’ in the 2020 presidential campaign and electing a single candidate off the table.

Pandemic vs single presidential candidate initiative: Lukashenka rubbing hands