Elections open opportunity for maneuver by both Lukashenko and the West
According to the results of the presidential elections which took place in Belarus last Sunday, the current president Alexander Lukashenko gained 83.49% of the votes. Second place was taken by Tatyana Korotkevich from the civil movement 'Tell the Truth'. Third place went to the head of the Liberal Democratic Party, Sergey Gaydukevich, who got 3.32% of the vote. 6.4% of those who went to the polling stations voted against everybody.
Lyudmila Kozlova, Deputy Chairwoman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, visited the elections as an observer. She said that a feature of the election was the lack of black PR by the opposition, and there was a woman among the presidential candidates.
87% of registered voters voted. According to Kozlova, "there was high activity of the population. And it was so high that when we were at the opening of the polling stations as scheduled, at 8am, there were already three polling stations working and there were about 30 people at each site. People were not indifferent. When people are not indifferent, it means the Republic has a future. I represent the Smolensk region in the Federation Council, it borders directly on Belarus. I have been to Belarus many times and have seen the attention that is paid by the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko to not only veterans, but also to young people.”
According to the senator, “the international observers of the OSCE pointed out violations, but noted that the elections were organized in accordance with the international standards for democratic elections. But then I heard that the OSCE mission has a different opinion.”
The paradox was explained by Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the magazine ‘Russia in Global Affairs’, in an interview to Vestnik Kavkaza: “Europe will speak very vaguely about this election, saying that, of course, it is difficult to assess it according to the highest standards of direct, free, fair elections, and so on, but they were held, and they accept their results in one form or another.”
Lukyanov said that it’s clear that Lukashenko was able to break the blockade that has been around him there for many years due to the much-changed external environment. He also became in demand for the West and all Europeans, and it turned out that democracy can be approached in a more flexible form. Plus, I must say that during this time Lukashenko has behaved more flexibly than he did during the previous elections that ended with the crackling scandal of the opposition candidates. To everyone's delight, now we can say that the West has no objection to his presidency. Accordingly, he acquires legitimacy, well, it opens up room for maneuver for Lukashenko in the future and for further maneuvers by the Western community, too.”