17 August, 2020
The President of Belarus, Lukashenko, who won his sixth term in last week’s election, had a face-to-face with striking workers in Minsk, informing them the vote is a done deal – at least as long as he is alive.
The long the long-serving president, Alexander Lukashenko –who is accused of rigging the recent election by the opposition – tried to win the hearts and minds of workers at MZKT, a key factory manufacturing an array of wheeled haulage trucks, including for the military.
The people amassed in front of the podium this Monday were seemingly unhappy about Lukashenko’s. The protesters repeatedly chanted “Go away!”, but president Lukashenko did not budge.
“Thank you. I’m answering this question – you could yell some more,” Lukashenko told the crowd.
We have held the election. There will be no other elections, as long as you don’t kill me.
He told those gathered there that it was him, the “bad president,” who kept the jobs at the plant so that people “would not be thrown out into the street.” However, it all fell on deaf ears, and Lukashenko had to shorten his visit after being repeatedly interrupted.
The president’s public appearance comes as nationwide outrage over the results of the election has spilled over onto Belarus’ industrial sites. By Monday, an array of key factories have either halted or limited their operations due to striking.
Among them are renowned truck-making giant BelAZ, Minsk-based carmaker MAZ, as well as Belaruskali, the country’s largest exporter of potash fertilizers, to name a few. There have also been reports of strikes at state-owned television network NGTRK.