Lukashenko elected Belarus President
Aleksander G. Lukashenko who is the authoritarian ruler of Belarus won another term as the President. The Central Election Commission reported that Mr. Lukashenko, a former director at a collective farm got nearly 83.5 percent of the vote. This would mark Lukashenko's fifth term in the office and he overcame three token competition to secure this win.
Lukashenko has been ruling Belarus since 1994 with an iron fist. He has delivered GDP growth despite being scrutinised for human rights violations, stifling media and for the disappearance of his critics. In February 2011, the European Union and the US had slapped sanctions and travel ban on him for the imprisonment of several rival candidates like Andrei Sannikov and rigging the 2010 elections.
Lukashenko's son Nicolai Lukashenko is the dictator in making and is being groomed by his father. He even accompanied his father to New York for the UN summit.
Most people in Belarus agreed that the votes would be rigged as the government counted its own votes. However, in spite of his authoritarian ways Lukashenko would win because the people knew that he was the best of the lot. Moreover, people equate him with job security as the "government owns 80% of all industry".
The Belarus elections mean little as the opposition in Belarus struggled to get its voice heard before the elections. President Lukashenko faced a 3 pronged competition; however only one of the three candidates had been campaigning. None of the veteran leaders were contesting as they were not allowed to register; they had been asking people to boycott the 'rigged' elections.
Svetlana Alexievich, who has been the most prominent critic of Soviet governments like the one in Belarus said the elections were an eyewash. Speaking to reporters in Berlin,, she said that Lukashenko was sure to win as the elections would be rigged. She quoted Stalin saying it's "unimportant who votes for whom; what matters is who counts the vote."
Ms. Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2015 for her "sweeping nonfiction works about events like the Soviet-Afghan war and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster ".
The EU has taken a step toward temporarily suspending sanctions against Belarus despite concerns about the October 11 presidential election. The embargo will be lifted for a period of 4 months. In 2012, Lukashenko had released his political rivals and this had seemed like a positive development in the eyes of the EU. However, the EU said any further breach could make them withdraw.