On March 2 Belarus hosted elections into the local councils and some naïve Russian legislators decided that they were free to take part in this crucial process in observers’ capacity. But they were rudely mistaken. To the Russian State Duma MP Vadim Bondar’s inquiry, there came an official refusal from Central Electoral Commission of Belarus. As a matter of fact, the brotherly state isn’t going to invite observers, for it doesn’t feel like “going against the established international practice”, which envisages “observation over the local elections… in special cases of emergency situation in the country”, while the “social-political situation in Belarus is, on the contrary, peaceful and stable. There’s absolutely no racial, religious or national intolerance. The rights of the national minorities are respected”.
The Polish embassy in Belarus refuted information, circulated by some Belarusian media, according to which the first secretary of the Polish embassy Marek Butko was driving in Minsk in a drunk state overnight March 1-2. It was reported in the newspapers, in particular, that the diplomat provoked several dangerous situations and had it not been for the traffic police intervention, nothing would spare him a road accident.
The forth session of the joint Belarusian-Cuban commission on trade-economic cooperation ended in Havana. The sides considered, among other issues in question, the course of preparations to the Cuban Foreign Minister’s official visit to Minsk.
On March 12 Mogilev will host an action within the framework of the People’s March “For Better Life!”, said at the March 4 press-conference in Mogilev representatives of ZUBR, UCP, BSDG, Free Trade Union and “Private Property”. The journalists were told that the action is motivated by the nation’s impoverishment, price-growth on basic commodity and services and sharp rise in the apartment rent. The action will be held under social slogans.
“When I received phone calls from voters, who were indignant over my removal from the race, I recommended them to engage in the People’s March “For Better Life!” on March 12 and by so doing express their protest to something that happened to me. I will personally engage in the March and so will my family and election crew,” – said in an interview to Charter’s press-center one of the leaders of the United Civil Party Evgeny Lobanovich. The politician enjoyed great advantage over his contenders in the race, but was unlawfully denied the right to continue competition.
Baghdad mayor Adnan Abed Khamed arrived yesterday night to Minsk. In the airport he said that his visit to Belarus was a personal order of Saddam Hussein. According to Khamed, “that demonstrates the Iraqi leader’s respect for the Belarusian nation. The mayor underscored that Belarusian citizens support Baghdad and Iraq in this “troublesome hour of an undeclared war”.
Editor-in-chief of the closed independent newspaper from Grodno “Pagonya” Nikolai Markevich got his accusatory sentence changed. Now he’s obliged to work in his hometown Grodno and pay 15% of his salary to the state. “Pagonya” editor told Radio Ratsya that he doesn’t know yet what he’ll be doing in Grodno, but added that he’d like to work as a journalist someplace. As you know, Markevich had been sentenced to 1,5 years of freedom restriction for alleged libeling Alexander Lukashenko.