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September 29, 2008
Belarus election shuts out opposition


Protesters march in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Vitaliy Voznyak, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes about Eastern European politics for The 8th Circle. He discusses Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Belarus, in which opposition candidates failed to win any seats.

Going through the motions: Belarus stages parliamentary elections

The title deliberately uses the word stages.  Omitting this verb may lead to a false conclusion that having elections is a sign that perhaps life in Belarus, a dictatorship bordering the EU, is not as bad as they say.  Well, it is.  I want to avoid going into a cliché account of Belarus’ political system and recent history which you will likely find in a number of newspaper dispatches next week.

Instead, below is a translation from posts by Olga By (the “last name” is clearly adopted from the country’s ISO two letter code or similarly the internet top-level domain .by).  Olga is a blogger based in Minsk, Belarus.  Below is her commentary on what is taking place in her country.

Tomorrow, we’ll have elections to the parliament.  I won’t go.  The falsification is already conducted openly, shocking even those members of the electoral commission who retained at least some amounts of integrity (sovesti).  The election precincts are working since Tuesday – the so-called “early voting.”  For this part of the “election,” students, military personnel, prisoners, patients, etc. were forcefully rounded up to vote.  Literally using force.  They threatened them with work dismissals, expulsion from home, failure to pass exams and other joys of life.  I am not making this up, honestly.

To read more, visit the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Antonis SHEN under a Creative Commons license.

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