|Andrei Sannikov: Candidate for the Presidency of Belarus|
By Andrei Sannikov
We have the best men in the world and the prettiest women. Together we are one nation and we have a unique chance we must not miss.
Minsk residents, who find themselves locked in their apartments; dwellers of towns suffered from Harvest Festivals; drivers, who had to stand in traffic jams due to the cortege that doesn’t obey the rules; they know well what Lukashenka’s movement through the city means. Half the city is blocked due to Lukashenka’s whim to go to cinema or visit a sporting venue. This is his real popularity rating. He knows that all his sociologists, both on staff and outside, lie. He knows that a minus sign must be put in front of the figures. That’s the reason of these extreme safety measures, that’s why he fears for his life. Though nobody think to attempt on his life. Nobody needs his life, but everyone needs Belarus. Everyone.
We need normal Belarus, not an absurd dictatorship, this eyesore in the center of Europe that scolds with all neighbours. It borrows money and pours mug on those who gave the money. The debt has risen beyond 25 billion over three years. But the official gold reserves are 5 billion.
The country has been driven into a dead end. Finding a way out is possible only by changing the power and giving citizens freedom and guaranteed respect. This is worth struggling for and we will struggle. Belarus is waking up, people leave their kitchens and go to streets, they begin to talk about politics and changes without fear.
I am satisfied with signature collecting. People avoided coming to the dictator’s picket, but formed queues for opposition pickets. Here is the fact that not all people know: those engaged in administrative pickets later put their signatures for alternative candidates with pleasure, talked with members of opposition initiative groups and promised to be on the square if necessary.
Lukashenka apparently made himself believe tolerance of the Belarusians, he believes his own propaganda team, newspapers and websites trying to persuade people they are cowards and do not deserve a better fate. We also often try to convince ourselves in our tolerance. History of Belarus is not based on tolerance. Both 1918 and 1991 are milestones in our history because we left our tolerance at home for a time and went to defend our honour and dignity.
When I was in Baranavichy, a woman came to me at the picket and asked:
– What will you give me?
– What do you want?
– I want a husband…
– That’s the easiest thing. I am sure the best men of Belarus, strong and courageous, will be on the Square on December 19.
I am really convinced that we have the best men in the world and the prettiest women. Together we are one nation and we have a unique chance we must not miss.
History is being made today. We will win.