Not only in Minsk - all over the country.
What should a humble dictator do, if an election is already on the doorstep, and the legend of a three percent rating lives on and wins? Far from being the first, and certainly not the only one, he fell into this simple trap. The sorrowful experience of companions in misfortune suggests two possibilities.
The first one is familiar and tested. To promise the electorate a bright future, and the fulfillment of all their desires in the long term. It seems to be a simple trick, known to everyone for a long time. Even the Soviet leaders used it willingly. And in 1994, the kolkhoz guy also made it work. However, those days are long gone. There are hardly any left here who are ready to believe empty promises.
The second option is rational and indisputable. Immediately check the condition of the personal car and aircraft fleet. Tighten bolts and nuts. Check brakes. Fill with fuel thoroughly. And load there all the most valuable of the acquired by honest labor. Many of the high-ranking colleagues in misfortune once frivolously neglected this, which they soon regretted bitterly. Why repeat such obvious mistakes?
However, the last dictator and the first loser concurrently chose the most hopeless option in this field - to go ahead. Why be shy? The system of “elections” in the country has long been tuned in full accordance with the general idea of the once elected: try and take me off!
But it happened so that an error creeped in at this crucial stage. It seemed petty at first. A negligible face control glitch. But the seemingly perfect system of almost automatic renewal of the powers of a high-ranking applicant immediately failed. And at once all sorts of gaps appeared along the entire front. But nothing had happened yet. The local electoral commission only managed to respectfully deliver the candidate's certificate to the main applicant. So what, then, should be expected in the end of this whole campaign?
Nothing special, except for the complete destruction of the criminal system of keeping power in one hand. And the return of this very power to the people, which was and remains its source and bearer of sovereignty. The Constitution contains such a provision. What the usurpers do not like to recall. It's not profitable. And it's also dangerous. More harm than use. However, you will have to recall it. And more than once. Since the events of this unusual campaign are taking a turn that is undesirable for the current government.
Nobody could have expected this. If a country suddenly finds a dragon, then at least a Lancelot is needed to defeat the beast. And if there is no such man, there is nothing to dream about. In our case, it is generally a hopeless option. The system has been brought to such insanity that everyone who appears at least on the distant horizon will instantly go to jail. And Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was registered as a candidate without any problems. A housewife, brings up two young children. The husband, troublemaker and recent challenger, is isolated in a timely manner and quite reliably. What is there to be afraid of?
Of course, these days the authorities are already diligently watching videos from pre-election pickets. Looking for the weak points of a sudden opponent who suddenly turns out to be dangerous to the extreme. It is quite possible that the applicant from Drazdy stubbornly keeps on watching these hated streams. He is trying to understand why the former popularity is fading away. And in general, somewhere in this election there should be a loophole into which he can still slip through. How could it ever happen that the weakest, at first glance, opponent is taking away his last chance?
Only he seems unlikely to understand what the mystery is. For so long, at his will, everyone around him was telling about some unthinkable stability and general prosperity, they did not notice the changes that had taken place. His electorate shrank. Longtime supporters are gone. A new generation has grown up that does not need the values declared by the regime at all. And this regime, rigid in its soviet stupidity, cannot and does not want to conduct a normal dialogue with its citizens. It can only command, and threaten the disobedient. Therefore, many in this country rejected his regime long ago.
The country is already entering the Square phaze. Minsk, Brest, Navapolatsk, Vitsebsk, Vorsha, Zhlobin, Mahiliou, Babruisk, Rechytsa, Homel are very different cities. And the picture is the same everywhere: “We believe, we can, we shall win!” Whether it’s an unbearable heat, or a sudden rain, people just don’t leave. Wait patiently if the candidate's car is still on the road. They will not disperse. They won't give in. Because it is already unbearable to remain with this ferocious regime and its restless lackeys for another five years. We have had enough. The people are sick and tired of all this..
The people and the authorities have long lived on different sides of the bottomless abyss. And in this case, there is no support and mutual understanding, and there cannot be any. Cynicism, lies, pathological greed and outright rudeness of officials have long become the norm in this ridiculous system. There is no hope of changing, fixing, or simply experiencing. People openly hate this power. So what in such a situation can its creator and guarantor of the coming catastrophe expect from the election?
He has only long-outdated tricks in stock. Promise the country a GDP of one hundred billion dollars. But this is risky - the question immediately arises, why not two hundred? What are the reserves, if the regime is in debt and the economy is sinking in a hopeless crisis? However, don't underestimate the regime's resourcefulness. He still has a trump card in store: the opening of a nuclear power plant is scheduled for August, the election month. Isn't that what the Belarusians who survived Chernobyl dreamed about? And rumors spread vertically that Putin might even come. That will be a holiday. If the Maidan does not happen, which the ruler keeps on frightening. Only nothing like this will happen.
And in case of yet another attempt to grab hold of the power again, with the same bluish fingers, there will be the Square. Not only in Minsk - all over the country. In cities and towns. He still hasn't figured out what happened? Is there anyone who does not know why the wind of change raised the white-red-white banner over the country? Belarus chooses the Square.
Because there is no other way out of the abysse into which this talentless government has led the country. Moreover, it is too late and pointless to offer your services for another term to this loser. For a quarter of a century, everyone watched his empty vanity. Nothing succeeded. He failed the job. It was a disaster. But okay, it happens. The loss is not great - there is someone to replace.
And if this time the people take control over the electoral process, no one will dare to steal their choice. Belarus has already reached the Square.
Uladzimir Khalip, exclusively for the website Сharter97.org