2020 Belarusian presidential election
Presidential elections will be held in Belarus on 9 August 2020. Long-term president Alexander Lukashenko has announced he will run for a sixth term in office, having won every presidential election since independence in 1991.
Background[edit source | edit]
On 8 May 2020, the Belarusian Parliament set 9 August 2020 as the date for the country's next presidential election.
Candidates[edit source | edit]
Declared[edit source | edit]
- Alexander Lukashenko, Incumbent President of Belarus (independent)
- Alena Anisim, Member of the House of Representatives of Belarus (pro-opposition independent)
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski, political and business YouTube blogger
- Andrej Dzmitryjeŭ, Member of the Tell the Truth! Movement
- Viktar Babaryka, banker and philanthropist 
- Valery Tsepkalo, founder and former director (2005-2017) of the Belarusian High Technology Park 
- Yuri Hantsevich, farmer and political YouTube blogger 
Withdrawn[edit source | edit]
- Aleh Gaidukevich (Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus)
Potential[edit source | edit]
- Mikola Statkevich, Head of the People's Hramada and former Presidential candidate
- Aliaksei Yanukevich, former Chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party
- Siarhei Skrabets, former Member of the House of Representatives of Belarus
Active campaigns for presidential candidate registration[edit source | edit]
|№||Candidate||Occupation||Subject of nomination||Application for participation||Initiative Group Registration Date||The size of the initiative group|
|1||Alexander Lukashenko||Incumbent||Self-nomination||November 17, 2019||May 15, 2020||11480|
|2||Yuri Gantsevich||Farmer, blogger||Self-nomination||May 10, 2020||May 15, 2020||173|
|3||Vladimir Nepomnyashchikh||Retired||United Civic Party of Belarus||May 13, 2020||May 15, 2020||125|
|4||Natalia Kisel||Individual entrepreneur||Self-nomination||May 11, 2020||May 19, 2020||147|
|5||Viktar Babaryka||Former Chairman of the Management Board of OJSC Belgazprombank||Self-nomination||May 12, 2020||May 20, 2020||8904|
|6||Valery Tsepkalo||Former Deputy Foreign Minister and founder of Belarus High Technologies Park||Self-nomination||May 8, 2020||May 20, 2020||884|
|7||Sergey Cherechen||Chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly)||Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly)||January 11, 2020||May 20, 2020||1127|
|8||Volha Kavalkova||Co-chairman of the organizing committee for the establishment of the Belarusian Christian Democracy||Belarusian Christian Democracy||May 15, 2020||May 20, 2020||120|
|9||Hanna Kanapackaja||Member of the parliament (2016-2019)||Self-nomination||May 12, 2020||May 20, 2020||1314|
|10||Andrej Dzmitryjeŭ||Co-chairman of the public association "Tell the truth"||"Tell the truth"||May 8, 2020||May 20, 2020||2399|
|11||Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya||Spouse of Belarusian YouTuber and activist Syarhei Tsikhanouski||Self-nomination||May 15, 2020||May 20, 2020||247|
|12||Ales Tabolich||Musician, frontman of Znich band||Self-nomination||May 15, 2020||May 20, 2020||116|
|13||Yuras Hubarevich||Head of the Movement "For Freedom"||Movement "For Freedom"||May 15, 2020||May 20, 2020||120|
|14||Mikalai Kazlou||Acting chairman of United Civic Party of Belarus||United Civic Party of Belarus||May 15, 2020||May 20, 2020||121|
In January 2020, five opposition forces as the Movement "For Freedom", Belarusian Christian Democracy, Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly), BPF Party and United Civic Party of Belarus reached a definite agreement to hold primaries to field a single candidate from the Belarusian opposition. Yury Hubarevich (For Freedom), Paval Sieviaryniec, Volha Kavalkova (both BCD), Aliaksei Yanukevich (BPF) and Mikalai Kazlou (UCPB) were listed as potential candidates.
Campaign[edit source | edit]
Syarhei Tsikhanouski and Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya[edit source | edit]
On May 7, Belarusian blogger and entrepreneur Syarhei Tsikhanouski announced on his YouTube channel "Country for Life" that he intends to become a candidate for President of Belarus. Prior to this event, on May 6, he was detained by the Belarusian militsyya (police) in the vicinity of Mahilyow without presenting a certificate by a police officer (confirming the status of a policeman in Belarus) and with threats of police breaking the glass of the car in which Tsikhanouski was in. Prior to that, a crowd of Tsikhanouski's supporters in Mahilyow released a member of Tsikhanouski's team from the police. A day later, allies of Tsikhanouski were arrested, including a blogger from Slutsk, Uladzimier Niaronski. The vans of Tsikhanouski's team including Niaronski was chased by a road police and two vans with members of the police special forces AMAP.
The blogger's arrest was facilitated by his trip around Belarus, covering the consequences of Lukashenka’s 26-year stay at the head of the country. Tsikhanouski’s trips were popular and gathered hundreds of people who spoke out to Tsikhanouski about violations of their rights and economic problems. On trips around Belarus, Siarhei Tsikhanouski was constantly followed by cars with people monitoring him, presumably employees of the Belarusian special services.
After the arrests, Siarhei Tsikhanouski’s supporters held a series of protests throughout Belarus. According to the Radio Liberty, 20 to 30 people were detained in Homyel, the home town of Tsikhanouski. Viasna Human Rights Centre reports that at least 19 people who supported Tsikhanouski were brutally detained in Minsk.
20 hours after the publication of the video about the intention of Tsikhanouski to become a presidential candidate, the video scored 250 thousand views on YouTube. The channel of Syarhei Tsikhanouski "Country for Life" had 163 thousand subscribers as of May 8, 2020.
After his arrest, Syarhei Tsikhanouski was transported to Homyel, where he was placed in a temporary detention center. Formal reason for detention of Tsikhanouski' was his participation in the rally against the integration of Belarus with Russia that was on December 19, 2019 in Minsk. After his detention, Tsikhanouski announced in his YouTube channel about his intention to run for president of Belarus. However, the Central Election Commission of Belarus refused to register the initiative group to nominate him.
Then a spouse of Syarhei Tsikhanouski, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, decided to run herself as a nominee for the presidential candidate status. The initiative group of Svyatlana Tikhanouskaya was successfully registered by the Central Election Commission of Belarus. Syarhei Tsikhanouski became the head of the initiative group to collect signatures for Svyatlana Tikhanouskaya's participation in the presidential election.
On 20 May, Syarhei Tsikhanouski was released from the temporary detention center. Tsikhanouski explained that the pressure of activists-supporters helped to achieve that. In an interview with Tsikhanouski after the release, Deutsche Welle drew parallels between the Belarusian blogger and Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and the Ukrainian actor Volodymyr Zelensky, who became the president of Ukraine. RTVI also drew a parallel between Tsikhanouski and Navalny.
Syarhei Tsikhanouski began his trips around the country with pickets to collect signatures for Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Tsikhanouski's pickets were very popular and gathered thousands of people. The queue to the picket in Minsk near Kamarouski market was half a mile. Several thousand people also attended the picket of Tsikhanouski in Homyel. Syarhei Tsikhanouski announced that he was collecting signatures for fair elections in Belarus, without falsifications.
Syarhei Tsikhanouski actively uses the slogan "Stop, cockroach!" in his campaign, which is chanted by his supporters. The symbol of the Tsikhanouski's campaign is slipper. The slogan "Stop, cockroach!" refers to the fairy tale "Cockroach" by Soviet poet Kornei Chukovsky about how the "mustached cockroach" intimidated all animals and became their ruler. Apparently, this slogan is a reference to the current leadership of Belarus. Slippers are supposedly a traditional means of pest control. Euronews journalists called the events in Belarus as "Slippers Revolution" demonstrating the quote of the Belarusian activist Franak Viachorka with this phrase.
On 29 May, Syarhei Tsikhanouski came to Hrodna to take part in the process of collecting signatures for Svyatlana Tikhanouskaya. On the same day, the head of Belarus Aliaksandar Lukashenka probably spoke about Syarhei Tsikhanouski at a meeting with workers of Minsk Tractor Works: "They come cool, all in jeeps — 10-12 cars... we know whose cars he drives, who finances it. We know where he comes from, what his citizenship is and stuff... We all know that. I'm already looking, they're giving me information, our people have already seen it." Tsikhanouski commented on Lukashenka's statement to the Nasha Niva newspaper: "My last name isn't there, but a hint of me: "We know his citizenship." They have information, analytical work! I have one citizenship, I never had any other. In terms of money — I've had business since 2005, I have money."
A few hours after Lukashenka's statement, during the communication of Syarhei Tsikhanouski with the residents of Hrodna, there was a provocation, during which a policeman was lying on the asphalt whistling on the pavement not far from the place of Tsikhanouski's communication with the residents. After one minute and thirteen seconds, Tsikhanouski was detained by a special forces of the Belarusian police AMAP. Eight vans of the special police unit arrived to detain Tsikhanouski. The soldiers of the special unit loaded Tsikhanouski into the police GAZelle van without showing their IDs. During the arrest, the GAZelle's door was broken down. Supporters of the blogger tried to block the departure of vans from the place of Tsikhanouski's detention. Unidentified people in sports suits then freed the passage for police transport in struggle with Tsikhanouski supporters. Then supporters of the blogger went to the police station in Hrodna with request to release the blogger.
Shortly after the arrest of the blogger, the Belarusian state-owned TV channel Belarus 1 showed a story in which the events in Hrodna were covered as follows: "From the very first minutes this collection of signatures turned into a rally, and according to the law, it is prohibited to hold a campaign meeting at this stage of the election campaign. As a result, this manner of communication turned into a scuffle. The police, trying to restore order, found themselves in the epicenter of the scuffle, which was arranged on the square. One of the police officers was attacked." The leader of the United Civil Party, retired lieutenant colonel of the Belarusian police, Mikalai Kazlou, noted that Aliaksandar Lukashenka, during his speech at Minsk Tractor Plant, "gave the command to screw, twist, sit down, and the minister apparently immediately seized this opportunity and made a provocation". Kazlou also noted that all the policemen involved in this provocation would be exposed and brought to justice.
According to the Viasna Human Rights Centre, at least 13 people were detained, including two members of the initiative group Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and three assistants of Syarhei Tsikhanouski. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus announced that investigators had opened a criminal case for violence against police officers.
Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a candidate for the presidency, made an official statement regarding the detention of her husband and the head of the headquarters of her initiative group, Syarhei Tsikhanouski, in Hrodna: "I officially declare: Today, May 29th, during a picket in Hrodna in support of my candidacy for presidency there was a "dirty" provocation against Syarhei Leanidavich Tsikhanouski, head of the headquarters of my initiative group. He was detained. I declare responsibly that the picket was legal and peaceful in nature. In this connection, I demand immediate release of the head of my initiative group, otherwise I will regard it as a violation of my constitutional rights and pressure on the candidate for presidency of Belarus". She promised to submit relevant applications to the CEC and the Interior Ministry.
Opinion polls[edit source | edit]
Independent sociological studies that would make it possible to objectively evaluate the rating of potential candidates are not conducted in Belarus.
Internet polls[edit source | edit]
Bold and green marks the candidate who took first place.
Bold italics and yellow marks the candidate who took second place.
Light red marks the result of incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko.
|Date of poll||20.05.2020||20.05.2020||22.05.2020||26.05.2020||26.05.2020|
|Number of users who participated in the poll||70 029||16 526||35 775||32 128||9 705|
|Tsikhanouski or Tsikhanouskaya||12.71%||18.39%||17.37%||12%||51%|
|Against all or another answer||—||15.37%||7.8%||7.7%||4%|
Conduct[edit source | edit]
Results[edit source | edit]
Reactions[edit source | edit]
References[edit source | edit]
- EP|NE (2020-05-08). "Belarus to hold presidential elections in August". New Europe. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
- "As Belarus Elects New Parliament, Lukashenka Says He Will Seek Another Presidential Term". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2019-11-17. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- Belarus to hold its presidential election on Aug. 9", Associated Press. May 8, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "'Opposition MP' Alena Anisim announces bid for Belarus presidency". euroradio.fm. 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- Detained Belarusian blogger set to be Lukashenka’s rival in 2020 election Belsat TV
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski intends to become candidate for president of Belarus // Country for Life YouTube channel
- Banker and philanthropist Babaryka may stand in 2020 presidential election Belsat TV
- Hi-Tech park founder Tsapkala to run for presidency Belsat TV
- Homiel region: Youtubing farmer set to seek presidency Belsat TV
- "Ex-political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich may be nominated for presidency". belsat.eu. 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- "Janukievič Aliaksiej Antonavič". belarusprofile.com. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- "Заседание Центральной комиссии | Центральная комиссия Республики Беларусь по выборам и проведению республиканских референдумов". www.rec.gov.by. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Заседание Центральной комиссии | Центральная комиссия Республики Беларусь по выборам и проведению республиканских референдумов". www.rec.gov.by. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "«Александр Григорьевич? А зовут-то вас как!» Как ЦИК регистрировал группы бизнесменов и оппозиции" (in Russian). TUT.BY. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- Центральная комиссия Республики Беларусь по выборам и проведению референдумов (21 May 2020). "Сведения о лицах, чьи инициативные группы избирателей по выдвижению кандидата в Президенты Республики Беларусь зарегистрированы" (PDF). http://rec.gov.by/ (in русский). External link in
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- "«Я сваю кандыдатуру прапаную»: Лукашэнка будзе ўдзельнічаць у выбарах 2020 года" (in Belarusian). 2018-11-17. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
- "Фермер-блогер з Гомельшчыны ідзе ў прэзідэнты" (in Belarusian). belsat.eu. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
- "Падалі дакументы на ўдзел у выбарах Гайдукевіч і запамінальны пенсіянер з Гомеля Уладзімір Няпомняшчых" (in Belarusian). Наша Ніва. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Еще один кандидат на предвыборную гонку. В президенты идет бизнесвумен из транспортной компании" (in Russian). auto.tut.by. 2020-05-11. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
- "Виктор Бабарико выдвигается в президенты" (in Russian). TUT.BY. 2020-05-12. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
- "«Не в сторону заката, а в сторону рассвета». Экс-глава ПВТ Валерий Цепкало решил баллотироваться в президенты" (in Russian). TUT.BY. 2020-05-08. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- Захар ЩЕРБАКОВ (2020-05-08). "«Чтобы победить!» Председатель БСДГ Сергей Черечень идет в президенты". naviny.by. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Усе трое ўдзельнікаў экс-праймерыз падалі дакументы, але з мінімальнай ініцыятыўнай групай" (in Belarusian). Наша Ніва. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "«Я пока не вижу конкурентов». Анна Канопацкая идет в президенты" (in Russian). TUT.BY. 2020-05-12. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
- "Сопредседатель «Говори правду» Андрей Дмитриев объявил о намерении баллотироваться в президенты" (in Russian). TUT.BY. 2020-05-08. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
- "Жена видеоблогера Тихановского идет в президенты" (in Russian). Telegraf.by. 2020-05-18. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Лидер группы Znich Александр Таболич будет собирать подписи за выдвижение кандидатом в президенты". naviny.by. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
- "Belarusian Presidential Election 2020: The Game is On". belsat.eu. 2019-08-26. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- "Single candidate: Belarus opposition ready to stand up against Lukashenka?". belsat.eu. 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- "Новым председателем БПЗ избран Дмитрий Кучук | Belarusian Green Party". belgreens.org. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski intends to become candidate for president of Belarus // Country for Life YouTube channel (in Russian)
- Detained Belarusian blogger set to be Lukashenka’s rival in 2020 election // Belsat TV
- The apprehension of Siarhei Tsihanouski near Mahilyow // Country for Life YouTube channel
- Epic Fail of the Mahilyow Interior Ministry! People defended the Country for Life! // Arshynski, Mahilyow activist, YouTube channel
- New detentions of blogger Tsihanouski's supporters took place in different cities of the country // Viasna Human Rights Centre (in Belarusian)
- Two buses with AMAP and also road police // Belarus12stop YouTube channel
- Watching Siarhei Tsihanouski // Country for Life YouTube channel
- Country for Life YouTube channel
- Belarusian blogger Tikhanovsky got another 45 days of arrest in two days. // Deutsche Welle (in Russian)
- The CEC denied blogger Tikhanovsky the registration of the initiative group. Lukashenka was registered. // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Svetlana Svetlana, wife of the blogger Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya: To become president "has been dreaming all my life". // Radio Liberty (in Belarusian)
- Belarusian blogger Tikhanousky has been released // Deutsche Welle (in Russian)
- "I see why this is done." What does blogger Tikhanousky say about his sudden release. // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Exclusive DW: Blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski about Lukashenka, elections, spouse's campaign, protests // Deutsche Welle (in Russian)
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski — Lukashenka's main opponent // Interview // RTVI (in Russian)
- The Tsikhanouski queue stretched for one kilometer for the picket. We find out why they shouted "Stop the cockroach" and what the brought slippers mean. // telegraf.by (in Russian)
- Belarus: Hundreds protest in Minsk against President Lukashenka // Euronews
- Lukashenka told about the dirt on Capkala and called Tsikhanouski "peeling". // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Tsikhanouski answers Lukashenka: I have one citizenship, there have never been others. // Nasha Niva (in Belarusian)
- Detention of Tsikhanouski in Hrodna // TUT.BY YouTube channel
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski was detained in Hrodna. // Radio Liberty YouTube channel
- Blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski was detained in Hrodna. // Deutsche Welle (in Russian)
- Syarhei Tsikhanouski was detained in Hrodna. // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- A fight in the square in Hrodna. The collector of signatures and some of his supporters have been detained. Panorama // ATN, Belarus 1 TV Channel (in Russian)
- "Reaching out to a serious incident." BT commented on the detention of Tikhanousky in Hrodna. // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Detention of Syarhei Tsikhanouski. The cockroach gave the FAS command! // UCP YouTube channel
- The Ministry of Internal Affairs commented on Tikhanovsky's detention: two policemen were injured and a criminal case was initiated. // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Tsikhanouskaya made a statement regarding her husband's detention: "The picket was legal and peaceful". // TUT.BY (in Russian)
- Андрей Шингарев (2020-06-02). "Конкурент Александра Лукашенко на выборах — жена арестованного блогера. Ее кампания проходит под лозунгом «Стоп таракан», причем с успехом". Meduza.
[edit source | edit]
- Belarusian Presidential Election 2020: The Game is On
- Lukashenka Calls Belarus's Next Presidential Election For 2020
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