The current election campaign in Belarus continues to bring new surprises. On December 5, the two-week deadline set by the authorities for TV and radio statements of all the candidates, expires. Theoretically by this date the oppositional candidates will have had all chances to present their platforms to the voters. But in practice the options of the 9 oppositional candidates are very limited because all mass media in Belarus are under the strict control of the ruling party.
After December 5 the opposition won't have the opportunity to address their voters via digital mass media. During the two weeks before the elections the Belarusian mass media will cover the activities of only one candidate - the current president Alexander Lukashenko.
On December 6, a so-called All Belarusian Nation Congress will be held where the president will speak in front of 2,500 participants of the congress.
The attitude towards this event is quite controversial. Here is a statement about the legal status of such a gathering, from former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Sannikov, who is one of the presidential candidates and a lawyer by profession.
"This is an absolutely illegitimate body which is stipulated neither by the Constitution nor by any law. There is no such law in the Belarusian Constitution and there should not be, Sannikov says. My attitude towards this so-called "all-Belarusian meeting" is absolutely negative. In general all this reminds youmore of the North Korean thing rather than a civilized state."
A famous Belarusian poet Vladimir Neklyayev, the first opposition candidate according to the ratings, wanted to take part in the all Belarusian meeting and he ended up with this.
"I made an attempt to become a delegate of this wonderful "All-Belarusian Congress". However there are no rules authorizing the deputies to attend this event. We began to insist on setting certain rules for becoming a delegate. We were told that we should hold a meeting in my residential district and to collect signatures. I did it. I handed the protocol notes to the organizing committee of the congress with all the signatures. Moreover I attached the list with 27,000 signatures of the people I had collected during my trips across the country. But when I went to a meeting of the Congress' deputies they security people did not let me in."
"I asked a deputy I know from the Superior Council who was let in if he had held a meting. He said "No, but I got an invitation". Such are the so-called democratic relations between the state and the people," Vladimir Neklyayev notes ironically.
On December 6, the whole Belarusian nation of 2,500 people, will sit on the soft chairs in the best congress hall of the republic listening to a speech by Alexander Lukashenko who obviously wants to become the Belarusian president for life.