During Thursday’s appointment of the new government, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka made mention of troubles and wars that many Soviet countries had gone through. Notably, his speech contained a covert threat, which is of particular concern in view of unfolding events.
According to him, the secured peace and stability is the most useful asset of the Belarusian nation. At the same time, Lukashenka hinted that he might order to shoot at those who are hardly on the same page with him.
“We have created a country where our children can live. Today is the moment when it needs to be defended. You do see that we are being torn to pieces. We are the only post-Soviet country that has not faced trouble <… >Don’t you remember how [Uzbekistan’s] former president Karimov put down a coup in Andijan by shooting thousands of people? Everyone condemned him, but when he died, people were kneeling, lamenting and crying their hearts out. We have never experienced such things, that is why we are not able to be wise to them, at least some of us. Well, we will remind you!” the head of state said.
He apparently referred to Islam Karimov’s decision to open fire on protesters in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan who had rallied against his policies and the arrest of local businessmen on charges of Islamist extremism.
In his opinion, certain wannabe presidential candidates are willing to turn the country upside down with the help of „someone’s money’. However, he failed to specify which country was allegedly sponsoring his competitors.
“You and everyone please remember: we will not give away the country. We have been creating this flourishing country for more than two decades, piece by piece, not for it to be privatized and its people to go begging. We will not allow Belarus to be divided, as it happened in 1939. The country’s western border was near Minsk back then,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
This year’s election campaign is gaining momentum: lots of Belarusians are spending hours in queques to sign for the nomination of a person or persons who have revealed their presidential ambitions.
To officially become a presidential candidate, a seeker must get 100,000 signatures for his/her nomination. The initiative groups are to be engaged in collecting signatures from May, 21 to June, 19. The names of the candidates will be made public in mid July.
Last Sunday, thousands of people throughout the country lined up to put their signatures for ‘any on the list but for the incumbent president’. Especially large queues formed after popular vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski, a trustee and husband ofpresidential hopeful Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, had been detained in Hrodna on May, 29.