Alexander Lukashenko is pretty well known as the last dictator of Europe, that is if you don’t count Tony Blair. His ability to remain in power while most of the continent, especially Eastern Europe, moved towards a more open and liberal-democratic system, is pretty impressive. Despite the mixed results in the Ukraine, where the orange revolution seems to have gone sour somehow, it seems likely that the people of Belarus want change, beginning with the president.
Or at least that’s what it seemed before these latest results came out. Though the opposition claims fraud, no clear evidence of fraud has been presented, which means it is quite likely that his 82.6% of the vote is legit. BBC says even if the election were redone, it is very likely that Lukashenko would win easily.
So what to make of all this? I’m going to read up on Belarus bloggers and see if I can’t learn something and get a guest for the podcast this week. Could it be that he’s not an evil dictator that I’ve so often heard about? Maybe things in Belarus are going great? Or is it that culturally, perhaps people aren’t so into the idea of changing horses; instead they prefer to stay with the same president for as long as he lives. Or maybe it’s just well executed corruption. Hard to tell right now.