"Why did Belarusians once again vote for Alexander Lukashenko?": Experts and media assessment


"Why did Belarusians once again vote for Alexander Lukashenko?": Experts and media assessment

Belarus decided on the leader of the country for the next 5 years - Alexander Lukashenko was supported by 83.5% of voters. Such figures were voiced on Friday by the Central Election Commission.

The entire election campaign went quietly and on a positive note. Preliminary information on the outcome of the election was announced on the night from Sunday to Monday, hours after the voting ended.  The final protocol was signed by the CEC on Friday this week. Final figures differed insignificantly from the preliminary ones.

Nikolai Lozovik, Secretary of the Central Commission for Elections and National Referendums of Belarus:   
The Central Commission for Elections and National Referendums decrees: first, to recognize the election of the President of Belarus valid; second, to consider Alexander Lukashenko elected to the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus.

Speaking to reporters that day, Lukashenko made it clear that election result is important for each participant.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
The result is important for each participant of the 2015 presidential campaign. Who will they be talking to? Will this be a person who has the majority behind him? Or a person who has barely overcome the bar?

So, the majority of Belarusians supported the current head of state. For Alexander Lukashenko voted 83.5 percent of voters. Other participants in the presidential race have not been able to receive considerable support of the people. None of them overcame the 5-percent barrier.

Sergei Gaidukevich, candidate for President of the Republic of Belarus:
In general, the elections went well. For me, this is a good thing that our people is united to such an extent. It is a joy for me that the country will be calm and will be moving forward without any excitement.

Tatiana Karatkevich, candidate for President of the Republic of Belarus:
Admittedly, a lot of people still support the current government.

Nikolai Ulakhovich, former presidential candidate of the Republic of Belarus:
The current president is the leader, he has been the real head of state for years. He has new ideas and plans.

The turnout in the Belarus presidential election was 87%. In absolute figures, this is about 6.113 million.

Alexander Ivanovsky, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences:
As shown by the recent elections, our head of state is supported by the majority of the population. His line and the policy he is conducting are generally supported.

Working at these elections were more than 900 observers, accredited by the CEC. They could visit any of the 6,000 polling stations.  

Sergei Lebedev, head of the CIS observation mission at the elections of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Chairman of the Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary:
The elections were organized, calm, in accordance with generally accepted democratic norms.

Dmitry Mezentsev, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization:
Elections were transparent, open and democratic. A strict order was observed in the polling stations in terms of both security and compliance with the electoral law.

Engaged in election monitoring were more than 400 international observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and OSCE ODIHR. The report noted the openness of election commission members, their cooperation with observers and the work of the media.

Lydia Yermoshina, Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus:
They noted a very good process of voting at 95% of polling stations where international observers were working. Yes, they noted some drawbacks associated with transparency and clarity of the work of precinct election commissions at the time of the counting of votes. Nevertheless, I would like to note that the number of missions' complaints decreased in comparison with the 2012 parliamentary elections.

Alexander Lukashenko on Monday began receiving congratulatory telegrams. The Russian president was one of the first to have sent it. Among those who also sent re-election congratulatory messages were the leaders of China, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Vietnam, Georgia, Cuba, Turkmenistan, India, Iran, Tajikistan, Armenia, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Nicaragua.

Lyudmila Markina, international observer from the CIS mission for monitoring of the presidential elections in the Republic of Belarus:
We have the most positive impressions. Congratulations to all the citizens of Belarus on the election of your president! We wish Belarus only positive and dynamic future.

Gyula Thürmer, chairman of the Hungarian Workers' Party (Hungary):
If I were a Belarusian, I would also vote in favor of Mr Lukashenko. He perfectly manages the country. This is evidenced by the success of the foreign policy and economic achievements of the people. 

Nearly 1,000 journalists from 30 countries. Such a numerous representation of foreign media broke a record set during the press coverage of the Normandy 4 talks in Minsk back in February 2015.

Julio Mejías, a journalist of the agency Prensa Latina (Cuba):
I think it's very important for Belarusians to make the right choice. Future depends on it. The turnout of over 80% in the country is the best demonstration of democratic elections. People vote for the future, for a stable economic situation, for social and cultural development of the country.

The headlines on the front pages of leading media outlets speak for themselves.

Corriere della Sera:
Belarus voted for Lukashenko in the election. There was no doubt about who would win the presidential elections in Belarus. There was only a fraction of uncertainty. But the Central Electoral Commission dispelled all doubts: the incumbent president won 83% of votes.

Why did Belarusians once again vote for Lukashenko? The answer to this question can be summarized in three main theses.
The first: "Our country is not rich, but we did not starve. The stores have it all and at affordable prices. Why change anything?"
Second: "Our Ukrainian neighbors staged at the coup. The result of the civil war, default and unemployment. Why do we need this happiness?"
Third: "We don't see any alternative to Lukashenko. But not because the opposition is strangled, but because there is no one to talk to." 

The presidential elections in Belarus have been quite predictable - the turnout is high... and the victory went to Alexander Lukashenko. Moreover, even the president's opponents had no doubt what the results of the vote would be. And, judging by the statements of observers that the elections were held at a high level, the international community recognizes the results.

These presidential elections have already become history of sovereign Belarus. The citizens of the country made their choice in favor of consistent development policy.