“A Bielorrússia no hi ha eleccions, les eleccions són democràtiques”

“A Bielorrússia no hi ha eleccions, les eleccions són democràtiques”

Anna Solé Sans
ES
20.01.2016

Original text in Catalan. Translation to English by the author below.

Polític i activista, Andrei Sannikov va ser candidat a les eleccions presidencials de 2010 a Bielorrússia aconseguint el segon major percentatge de vots, només per sota d’Alexander Lukashenko, l’actual president del país des del 1994. Sannikov va ser empresonat en un centre de la KGB de Minsk per participar en una manifestació pacífica en senyal de protesta després dels comicis. Es va enfrontar a una pena de 15 anys. Sannikov va patir tortures i amenaces dins la mateixa presó. A l’abril de 2012, fou alliberat i perdonat per Lukashenko.

Com són les eleccions a Bielorrússia?

A Bielorrússia no hi ha eleccions, les eleccions no són democràtiques i com que aquí no ho són, la gent no hi té interès.  En les presidencials d’aquest any, després de votar, et donaven cerveses o bé tiquets per comprar menjar. Això només s’ha fet per engreixar la participació, perquè el que era important en aquests comicis era demostrar que la gent havia anat en massa a votar.

I l’oposició?

S’ha de partir de la base que Lukashenko no ha estat escollit com a president. Tothom sabia que guanyaria. L’oposició no està permesa aquí. No hi ha canals de televisió, ni diaris, ni ràdios que ens permetin comunicar un missatge diferent. L’oposició, la poca que hi ha, ha estat molt en contra i de manera unànime, contra aquestes eleccions.

Lukashenko té una popularitat alta com la de Putin?

Les enquestes a Bielorrússia no són fiables. Lukashenko confia en la violència, en la violència del KGB i de la seva policia.

Aleshores, Lukashenko controla a la població amb violència?

La situació econòmica al país és un desastre. El ruble bielorús ha caigut moltíssim des de la crisis d’Ucraïna. Els productes que comprem als supermercats han perdut qualitat. A més a més, tampoc tenim el dret de protestar. Sense bons canals de comunicació la gent ni tan sols surt al carrer perquè tenen moltíssima por i no saben què s’hi trobaran.

Rússia ha retallat el seu suport a Bielorrússia?

Sí, definitivament. Es nota molt perquè tot va començar a partir de la guerra amb Ucraïna i perquè Rússia no té prous diners per fer front a les dues coses.

La UE hauria de fer alguna cosa?

La veritat és que nosaltres hem demostrat una vegada i una altra que no estem contents amb Lukashenko i que volem desfer-nos d’ell però la UE no ens ha ajudat mai. En aquest sentit estic una mica decebut. Hem demostrat el desig tot i que crec que mai no ens han entès gaire.

Però els mitjans de comunicació en parlen poc de Bielorrússia…

Sí, recordo el període del 2010 i 2011 quan Lukashenko va guanyar de nou les eleccions i el meu company Bandarenka i jo vam anar a la presó després d’unes protestes duríssimes. Bielorússia és important per Europa i el seu tol també, sobretot ara, que Rússia ha encetat una guerra contra Europa, perquè no és contra Ucraïna, és contra Europa i la UE.

Per què l’acord de Minsk es va celebrar precisament a Minsk?

Un parell de setmanes abans de celebrar el primer acord de Minsk, s’havia parlat de fer-lo a Almaty (Kazakhstan) però Putin va insistir en què fos a Minsk i així va ser. Ell havia de donar una imatge de control i de poder no només de la situació si no també del país.

Lukashenko té el mateix instint de líder que Putin?

Potser hi va haver un temps en que la gent donava suport a Lukashenko perquè creien que els aportaria estabilitat després de la dissolució de la URSS i una bona economia. El cas és que actualment diria que fins i tot Putin és més popular a Bielorrússia. Aquí mirem la televisió russa, la gent no té un anglès prou bo com per mirar altres canals i no deixar-se entabanar per la propaganda del règim. I les autoritats lluiten de manera permanent per tancar pàgines webs transgressores que busquen donar nous punts de vista als ciutadans.

Translation to English

"In Belarus there are no elections, the elections are democratic"

The politician and activist, Andrei Sannikov was a candidate for the 2010 presidential election in Belarus, securing the second highest percentage of votes, just below Alexander Lukashenko, the country's current president since 1994. Sannikov was jailed in a Minsk KGB center accused of participating in a peaceful demonstration to protest after the elections. He faced a sentence of 15 years. In prison, Sannikov suffered from torture and threats. In April 2012, he was released and forgiven by Lucashenko.

How are the elections in Belarus?

In Belarus we have no elections, elections are not democratic and because of that, people have no interest on it. In the past presidential elections, after voting, people were given beer or tickets to buy food. This was only to increase the participation because, in fact, what really mattered in these elections was to show that people had gone massively to vote.

And the opposition?

We must understand that Lukashenko has not been chosen as president. Everyone knew he would win. Opposition is not allowed here. There are no television channels, no newspapers, no radios that give us the opportunity to communicate a different message from him. The opposition, the very few that exist, has always been unanimously against these elections.

Is Lukashenko as popular as Putin?

Surveys in Belarus are not reliable. Lukashenko relies on violence, violence from the KGB and from his police.

So, does Lukashenko control the population with violence?

The economic situation of the country is a disaster. The Belarusian ruble has fallen sharply since the Ukrainian crisis. The products we buy at the supermarket have lost their quality. And remember that we do not have the right to protest. Without the adequate channels of communication people do not even go out to protest on a demonstration because they have fear and they do not know what will happen to them if they occupy the streets.

Has Russia revoke its support for Belarus?

Definitely, yes. We have notice this a lot because when the war between Russia and Ukraine started our currency begun to lost its value. Russia does not have enough money to face and deal with both countries at the same time.

Should the EU do something against Lukashenko?

The truth is that we have shown time after time that we are not happy with Lukashenko and that we would like to get rid of him but the EU has never helped us. In this sense I am a little disappointed. We have shown our desire even though I think we have never been understood too much by the EU.

But the media speak very little about Belarus...

Yes, I remember the period of 2010 and 2011 when Lukashenko won the elections again and my college Bandarenka and I went to prison after a very tough protest. Belarus is important for Europe and its role too, especially now, that Russia has started a war against Europe, because it is not against Ukraine, it is against Europe and the EU.

Why was the Minsk agreement held precisely in Minsk?

A couple of weeks before the first Minsk agreement, there had been a lot of talk about doing it in Almaty (Kazakhstan) but Putin insisted on the idea of doing so in Minsk and it was. He had to give an image of control and power, not only of the situation but of the country as well.

Does Lukashenko have the same leader instinct as Putin?

Perhaps there was a time when people supported Lukashenko because they believed that he would bring some stability after the dissolution of the USSR and bring a good economy for the country. The fact is that nowadays, I think that even Putin is more popular than Lukashenko in Belarus. Here we also watch Russian television because people do not have enough English to see and understand other channels and to not be fooled by the propaganda of the regime. And the authorities fight permanently to close transgressive web pages that seek to try to give new points of view and different perspectives to the citizens.