10,000-strong column is marching along Skaryna (Independence) Avenue towards the Victory Square. People are holding national white-red-white flags, blue flags of the European Union and chant: “Long live Belarus!”, “Milinkevich!” The column is headed by Alyaksandr Milinkevich and Alyaksandr Kazulin. They are going to lay flowers to the Victory monument.
Well-known painters, musicians, journalists are addressing the protesters on the square. They all say that Lukashenka has lost, and Belarus is to become free. People were in agony of utter delight after the statement of journalist Iryna Khalip. She said: “Lukashenka is simply ridiculous, because he is a shit!”
Alyaksandr Kazulin addressed the people on the square. He told: “People, you are free! You are not afraid of anything any more. A revolution has really occurred in Belarus. No one would ever make you kneel. We are free people!”
Te candidate called upon policemen to stop serving to the dictator’s regime and to side with their own nation.
Milinkevich expressed gratitude to all people who came to defend their choice. “Belarus has become a completely different country now. Now it’s a new free Belarus, which would not be brought to its knees. We have demonstrated to ourselves and to the whole world that we want to live in a free, democratic, European country. We do not admit the results of these presidential elections. We are winning!”
Snow cannons with artificial snow are shooting at people, imitating a snowstorm. Nothing is seen on the square. But people understand that the snow is artificial, and continue to stand on the square. Policemen are starting to wave to people on the square salutatory.
There are 30,000 people on the square.
A presidential candidate Alyaksadnr Kazulin has arrived to the square. The both candidates are standing side by side at the stairs of the Trade Union Palace. Amplifying equipment taken to the square. Soon candidates will address people.
Syarhei Kalyakin has just announced that according to the information of the exit-poll Alyaksandr Milinkevich has won more than 30% of votes. It means that a second round of voting is to take place in the country.
A national white-red-white flag was placed on the Palace of Trade Unions.
Alyaksandr Milinkevich has arrived to the square. He is delivering a speech from the stairs of the Palace of Trade Unions. A sea of people greets him. People are chanting: “Long Live Belarus!”, “Milinkevich!”
A passenger of a bus climbed on the roof of the bus and hoisted a large white-red-white flag. People greeted him chanting: “Long live Belarus!”, “Freedom!”, “We Shall Win!” The single democratic candidate is coming to the square.
Despite of the strong snow, more and more people are arriving. It’s hard to state their exact quantity, as columns of people seem endless. People are heading to the Palace of Trade Unions. The single democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich is to address people from the Palace of Trade Unions.
People are arriving to the square. Now everybody phones friends and relatives and tell them to come to the square to defend their choice. Cars are honking in solidarity with the people on the square. The noise over the square is improbable.
There are at least 20,000 people on the streets near the square. Milinkevich’s headquarters activists preserve the order on the square, ask people not to go to the traffic area.
10,000 people have gathered on the square. As the square is only partially free, people are gathering on the streets adjacent to the square. All cars passing by give a honk as a sign of support to demonstrators.
The number of people on the square is growing. More than 5 thousand people gathered there. Demonstrators put up white-red-white flags, numerous flags of the resistance movement “Zubr”. People are chanting: “Milinkevich!” and waiting for the single candidate. When at the big screen on the square a commercial “Vote for Lukashenka” is demonstrated, people are shouting: “Shame!” and express their displeasure.
People are starting to meet together in October Square in Minsk. Now there are more than a thousand of them there. More and more people are coming. Minsk haven’t seen this for a long time. People are cheerful. Most of them are wearing jeans, many attached blue ribbons. The candidates for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich and Alyaksandr Kazulin called upon the Belarusians to come out on October Square in Minsk at 8 p.m. to sum up the real results of the voting. There are no policemen on the square. The metro station “Kastrychnitskaya” (at October Square) is closed.
Observers of Gomel election stations have started filing violations. According to coordinator of the election independent observation Uladzimir Siakierka, facts of refusals to provide information on the number of voters who had voted ahead of schedule were filed at every election station where independent observers work.
Today at the press conference in Minsk the information of exit-poll held by Yuri Levada Center was announced. According to the information of the exit-poll as of 4.30 p.m., Alyaksandr Lukashenka won 47.4 % of votes, the single democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich – 25.6% of votes. Thus, Lukashenka has not collected even 50% of votes, and the run-off is to take place in Belarus!
The head of the long-term observation mission of the Office For Democratic Institutions on Human Rights (ODIHR) OSCE Gerdt Arens told that for the last ten days after two interim reports of the mission, the situation with elections in Belarus had not improved. “Within the ten days after the two interim reports of the mission, the situation has not improved,” Gerdt Arens told to journalists at a news conference on Sunday.
Observers of the initiative group of the presidential candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich register numerous violations in the work of electoral commissions. The BelaPAN was informed about that by Tatsyana Vanina, the aide of the head of the initiative group of Alyaksandr Milinkevich. “In electoral commissions we are not given information about the number of voters, about the early voting, about the current voting,” T. Vanina said. “And it happens in the cities. One could imagine what is happening in the country…” Among the violations she also noted ungrounded expelling of observers from polling stations. For instance, Ihar Komlik was expelled for trying to check whether agitation material is placed to the polling booths. In the polling site number 58 and 41 in Barysau there were cases when some people entered polling booths with voters. “They are moving around the polling station without badges, and they are obviously persons in charge here,” T. Vanina said.
The powers have never used such impertinent methods to block the opposition sites on the day of voting. According to the Charter press-center, traffic filtration is used apart from common tools (IP block and DOS-attacks). This tool serves to slow down the work of a site for Belarusian users as well as to intercept sites passwords. At the moment the site of democratic forces candidate Alyaxandr Milinkevich is broken open, the site administrators have lost control over the server. False information is likely to be edited on the site. Moreover, Belarusian users have difficulties visiting the sites svaboda.org, kozylin.com, naviny.by. The Charter web-site is still inaccessible because of a massive DOS-attack.
Today a mysterious center for surveys “Ekoom” that emerges only on the eve of election campaigns presented the data of an “exit-poll” thus completely discrediting the powers. According to the data, by 12.00 84.2 per cent of the interrogated voters “voted” for Lukashenka. This made it clear for everyone that the Belarusian election is nothing but a profanation, and the figures presented by “Ekoom” reminded of the outcome of the “election” held in Iraq before the dictator regime toppled. At that time Saddam Hussein got 100 per cent of votes, and after a few months the whole world viewed how the released Iraqi people were demolishing the tyrant’s monuments. “Ekoom’s” figures left no doubts in the election’s being forged, and now the Belarusian people have only one thing to do - to go to the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk to defend their choice!
After visiting voting stations, Belarusian people share their impressions of what they have seen with us. For instance, one of voters discovered the name of his father missing for many years in the list of voters. Here you can read a passage from the letter sent to “Bielorusskiy partizan”:
Three calls have been made to the United Civil Party hot line with information that the students of the Interior Affairs Academy are compelled to come on Sunday, March 19 at 8 p.m. to October Square. They are to occupy the space in order not to leave space for people who are planning to come to the square to sum up the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. Students are intimidated by punishment in case they wouldn’t come to the square to support Lukashenka. It looks like the authorities are preparing a big holiday on October Square on Sunday.
The Secretary of the Central Electoral Committee Mikalay Lazavik has just announced on air of he Belarusian TV that more than 50% of votes have taken part in the elections. It has never happened before, and it’s a chimerical voters’ turnout. “The explanation is easy. The turnout is provided by forcible early voting. The actions during early voting, forcing people to take part in early voting is a crime. Taking in consideration that only people who cannot be present on election day can take part in the early voting, it means that many towns in Belarus are to become half empty today. In Zhlobin 49.2% of people took part in early voting. Does it mean that half of the city left for today somewhere? 45% are gone from Maladzechna, 45% of people left Vitsebsk, 40% are gone from Brest, and 40% from Baranavichy,” a lawyer and human rights activist Uladzimir Labkovich said to the Charter’97 press center.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka called US President George Bush “the first terrorist on our planet”. “He is number one terrorist of our planet,” Lukashenka said on Sunday at a polling station, commenting on the fact that US President George Bush passed the data on weapon sales to terrorists, fortune and income of certain Belarusian highest-rank officials to the International Affairs Committee of Chamber of Representatives and Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Today morning at 13th polling station of the Tsentralny district of Minsk, where the single democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich voted, the chairman of the commission expelled an observer for writing complaints for violation of the law and saying that these complaints would be submitted to international observers of the OSCE. The chairman viewed that as an intimidation, and with the help of policemen forcibly expelled the observer.
The single democratic candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich voted today at the polling station number 13, in Chekhov Street in Minsk. The candidate came to the polling station together with his wife. Alyaksandr Milinkevich and Inna Kulej were wearing blue scarves.
The day we all have been expecting for so long, is coming, the Day of Freedom. It won’t be long till this moment come. It is clear already that the regime is beaten. We are to do a little thing – to come to the square. And we won’t be ashamed to look into the eyes of our children and grandchildren. Truth is at our side. Let’s throw him away to a garbage heap of history. It would be just. Together we shall win! For yours and our Freedom!