The joint candidate from the democratic forces Alexander Milinkevich met today people in Brest. Several thousands persons attanded the meeting and the hall of the Palace of the Trade Unions did not allow all of them to be present, thus many people were standing in the lobby and outside of the building. The Belarusians were shouting out "Milinkevich!" and "For the New President!"
Today in Warsaw in front of the Embassy of Russia a picket against Moscow’s support of the current ruler of Belarus was held. Poles, Belarusians and Ukrainians have taken part in the picket. They had their national flags and posters with the words “It’s a disgrace to support Lukashenka,” the Radio Svaboda informs.
Tomorrow in Warsaw in the centre of the city a huge concert of solidarity with Belarus will take place. The most popular Polish and Belarusian rock-musicians are to take part in the concert. The concert is to take place in the market of the New City, not far from the Castle Square, in the centre of Warsaw. As said by the organizers, members of the civil initiative “Free Belarus”, in the four-hour concert well-known Belarusian musicians are to perform. Their creative works are banned in Belarus: Lyavon Volski, Ihar Varashkevich, Alyaksandr Kulinkovich, Kasya Kamotskaya, and students of Yakub Kolas lyceum, the Radio Svaboda informs.
Between 300 and 400 people turned out at a non-food market in Orsha, Vitebsk region, on Saturday morning to meet with educator-turned-politician Aleksandr Kozulin who is running for president in the upcoming election.
On March 10-11 the single democratic candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich is on a stump in Brest region. On March 10 Milinkevich met voters in Belazyorsk. About 300 voters gathered for the meeting. Then the candidate went to Kobryn. In Belaazyorsk the meeting ended peacefully, while in Kobyn provocations were staged, the Radio Svaboda informs.
On March 10 in Horki a picket was held by senior citizens of the housing complex “Belarusian State Agricultural Academy Instructional Farm”. Pensioners expressed their protest against soapbox oratory of the authorities instead of the declared care for the elderly.
In modern Belarus Internet remains in fact the only possibility to disseminate information independently from the authorities. On the eve of the presidential elections Belarusian authorities are trying to trample down or decrease this little “island of freedom” to the maximum.
The run-up to the March 19 presidential election in Belarus is already deeply flawed, and the United States is making plans with European allies for common post-election policies, a senior State Department official said at a congressional hearing March 9.
The legal provisions on campaigning, the manner in which they are being interpreted and applied, and governmental agencies` actions "have limited the scope for a vibrant election campaign," says the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in its second interim report released on Friday.
The deeply disturbing pre-election environment in Belarus, efforts to foster democracy and civil society, and U.S. policy options toward the regime of Aleksandr Lukashenka were examined at a hearing held today by the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Presidential elections are scheduled to be held on March 19.
In Bratislava the Slovakian fund “Pontis” held an auction of cartoons depicting dictator Lukashenka. These cartoons have recently been published in four European newspapers including the Slovakian newspaper “SME”. One of the most expensive cartoons caused rough competition between leader of the Hungarian Coalition Party Beila Bugara and US Ambassador Rudolf Vally.
On March 9 in Washington US Helsinki Commission held public hearings called “Refusal from Freedom: Belarus in run-up to presidential elections”. The Helsinki Commission is an independent federal agency, law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords.
Alyaxandr Milinkevich started his conversation with dwellers of Belaaziorsk of March 10 with the information on the arrests and trials over united democratic forces activists held in Minsk, Baranavichy and Kalinkavichy. “The power behaves meanly, and hence the power, not Milinkevich, will be the one to call people to the streets. The power knows it will lose to the people, and while it must acknowledge its loss, leave the stage, the power is getting mad and tries to scare the people with threats” At the meeting Alyaxandr Milinkevich spoke against the pre-term voting.