The candidate for presidency has called up the students to go to October Square on December 19 at 8 p.m. to defend their choice.
About 500 persons took part in the meeting with the presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov on November 29 in Minsk State Linguistic University. The candidate graduated from this educational institution once.
The authorities hindered organizing of this meeting in different ways. A few days before the meeting all announcements inviting to the meeting with the candidate for presidency, were torn off in the university. On the day of the meeting the administration also prohibited to place messages at the notice board. One of the professors told to charter97.org website on the condition of anonymity that professors of the university had been warned that “it is better not to attend” the meeting with the oppositional politician.
Until the last moment the vice dean on educational work, Ihar Puchenya, prohibited to place a banner with Sannikov’s portrait and with the words “History is made today” on the stage. The banner was successfully placed only after a phone call to the Central Election Commission.
However, not only students of Minsk State Linguistic University, but of other universities of Minsk, as well as common citizens of Minsk of milled and senior age, were present at the meeting.
The first leader of independent Belarus, Stanislau Shushkevich, a regional coordinator Zmitser Barodka and an editor of charter97.org website Natalya Radzina accompanied Sannikov at the meeting with voters.
Opening the meeting, Sannikov said that it is an honour for him to make a speech in his alma mater, which he graduated from in 1977. The politician noted that even in the Soviet Union there was more freedom than in modern Belarus. In 1996, he said, Alyaksandr Lukashenka usurped the power, but today we have a unique chance to make the country free, and remarkably, each person has such a chance.”
As said by the politician, Belarusians should be ashamed to live under the dictatorship. “For many years we are told that Belarus is heaven on earth, but it is a lie. We have been living thanks to the preferential prices for oil and gas, however such prices end some day,” Sannikov noted.
“Lukashenka says that we are in opposition to him,” the candidate said, “but it is he who is in opposition to the nation.”
Sannikov stated that the election scheduled for December 19 would not be free and fair. As said by him, the people must and should choose their government. The political urged all who attended the meeting to come to October Square on December 19 at 8 p.m. to defend their choice and celebrate the victory.
Stanislau Shushkevich stated that Sannikov is the most acceptable candidate for presidency, he has a programme and a team. “In political, economic and moral aspect Sannikov is an example how a candidate for presidency should behave,” he believes.
A burst of applause was caused by the words of Shushkevich, who was a professor for a long time and who now reads lectures in universities worldwide, that what he values most in students is a desire to learn. “And look what marks Lukashenka had. It’s a shame. It is written on his face that he lives according to the principle: “I’m a boss, and you are nothing but a fool!”
At the meeting with Andrei Sannikov dozens of questions were asked to him. The queue to the microphone was not ending, and the candidate could not answer the questions of all. The voters were most interested in how to struggle with the election fraud, what to do when the administration forces to take part in the early voting; issues of social protection, wages, pensions, future economic an dpolitical reforms.
Sannikov’s answers evoked applause. The intention of the candidate to disband the Belarusian Republican Youth Union and to abolish forcible work placement for graduates caused the greatest delight of the students. Besides, they enjoyed the fact that Sannikov’s first presidential decree would be return of the national symbols of Belarus. “Down with ‘the sunset over the swamp’!” people in the audience shouted.
The meeting passed in a calm way. It was clear in the end that the candidate was a little tired. Over the four days it was the 8th meeting of Sannikov with voters. Before that the politician visited Salihorsk, Slutsk, Barysau, Kobryn, Brest, Baranavichy, Dzyarzhynsk.
A real lesson for future translators and diplomats were the words of one of the voters. An elderly lady knew Sannikov long ago, when he worked in the Foreign Ministry of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic. She recalled one of the sessions of the ministry in 1989 under the Soviet Union. “When Sannikov started to talk, not a sound was heard. He was listened to. And he said: “The Foreign Ministry should not be in service of one party, but must serve to the Belarusian nation.”