Belarus chief election official: Women and decent persons are not interested in politics

Lidziya Yamoshyna, phot.

In the course of the parliamentary election campaign in Belarus, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, disclosed her thoughts about the forthcoming election, women’s ‘apolitical’ nature, her idols and hobbies to DipService Journal, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s publication for employees of diplomatic services.

In November 2016, Ms Yarmoshyna will have the 20th anniversary in office this November. According to the top official, her appointment was unexpected and unparalleled neither for foreign colleagues nor for Belarusian officials. In the interview with DipService, she called herself an ‘ordinary lawyer in the morning turned into a top official before the evening’and ‘Cinderella of bureaucracy’. has picked out its most interesting pieces.[/vc_column_text]

Dipservice, the latest issue’s cover

Politician or functionary?

I have never called myself a politician, but just a functionary exposed to general knowledge. Politics is about state development tactics and strategy, general administration, while my powers, if any, are limited to certain procedural matters relevant to such performance.

Women in politics: mission impossible

Women just are not interested in it [politics]. Can you imagine two women drinking coffee and talking over the future U.S. President? It is impossible. Women are apolitical in their nature. By the way, any decent person is always apolitical. Women are fond of certainty, they need to see the output of what they can do on their own. You can clearly see the output of marriage, sewing (e.g. a dress) or cooking (e.g. a cake), while politics is something of abstract matter

Cherished dream

I dream to have all elections [in Belarus] recognized, to have them trusted and attended by people. Frankly speaking, I pay much more attention to opinions of Belarusians than those of foreign observers.

Лідзія Ярмошына ў часопісе «Dipservice», які беларускае Міністэрства замежных справаў выдае для замежных амбасадаў

Students and revolution

Studentship is the age of personal revolution, the time for a person to become independent. And we did have so much romance, more than today’s youth has! It was all of love, Komsomol (Young Communist League — Edit.) and spring, and it was really cool.

Major achievement

In my opinion, to be an honest person — that is the major achievement for anyone.

Heroes and dictators

I have no idols, but there are certain personalities I really like. One of them is Winston Churchill. I like to quote Napoleon — a great man, though considered a dictator. I can call Angela Merkel my favorite in contemporary politics.

No to kayaks, yes to palaces

One shall be apt and proficient in something else beyond one’s work in order to call it a hobby. There is nothing I am apt or proficient in, so, I just like everything related to culture: reading, theatre, informative travels.  say “no” to tents and kayaks, but “yes” to museums and palaces. When I see something gorgeous, I always tell myself: “Oh, Lord! I must never forget it! I shall remember this moment of happiness on my deathbed.”

Career in presidential hands

My professional life is closely related to the Head of state [Alyaksandr Lukashenka] — he is the one who appoints the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission. And I was already told, though as a joke, that I was still too young to dream of retirement.


Lidziya Yarmoshyna is notorious for her loyalty to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and throwing abrupt remarks at his opponents. After the 2010 post-election protest action she harshly criticised Belarusian women: ”You’d better stay at home and cook borshch! Is there nothing better for you but to hang around the squares? This would never come to my mind. It is a shame for a woman to take part in such actions.”

On December 19, 2010  the authorities detained 8 presidential candidates, many people were beaten by police. On December 20, Lukashenka announced the arrest of 639 persons and confirmed that the nominees for the presidency were questioned in prison by the KGB.