Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lukashenka's Disappearing Act?

This Sunday, Belarus dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka was reelected with some 82% of the votes. However, since 20 March Lukashenka has not been seen in public, and people are starting to wonder where the triumphant victor is. Now, news from Minsk has it that the presidential inauguration, set for Friday, has been postponed until sometime in April. According to official sources, the president is busy dealing with administrative issues. The question remains: Where is Lukashenka?

The absence of a leader at a critical point and feeble excuses for this, would, during soviet times, have given way to speculations whether a palace coup was in the making. Cases such as Khrushev, Gorbachev and others are but examples of methods to depose an inconvenient leader. Rumours, unclarities and the regime's nervousness lately, makes one wonder whether something really is in the making. The appearance of and leeway given to the new opposition leader Kozulin only add to speculations. Is Lukashenka - for some reason unseen by us - losing his grip on power? Well, one cannot help wondering, even if it may only be the hope of the weak in confrontation with oppressive power. Still, the explanation for Lukashenka's absence may be very simple: He is too busy counting all the votes he "got".


Laika the Space Dog said...

Excellent reporting, none of this appears in the western media, whose coverage of the Belarus farce, or the Ukranian elections was brief and lacking in context or intelligent analysis. Thank you!

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Laika the Space Dog,

Thank you very much for your all too kind words. I agree with you that coverage on Belarus by western media was not ideal in connection with the election campaign, although some major news sources had good reporting. What is very positive, however, is the fact that the issue has been dealt with extensively in the blogosphere, amplifying its position as an alternative information source. Here, my reporting is far from the best, which I think is great.