Protests in Belarus: The Upsurge of New Color Revolution?

On August 9, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in office in an argued election, stimulating protesters to march in the streets and rousing huge demonstrations across the country. Official state results show that Lukashenko won the elections with more than 80% of the votes, but international organizations, as well as various European nations, doubt that the election was held in a fair manner.

Lukashenko came to power in 1994 and is currently Europe’s longest-serving ruler. The president's tense hold on power has brought him disapproval from the Western nation-states. In 2005, The Unites States Bush administration labeled him as the "last dictator in Europe". International human rights organizations have also accused him of extensive violations. Lukashenko once cautioned his citizens that anybody who would be joining an opposition demonstration would be handled as a "terrorist" further warning them that the system would "wring their necks, as one might a duck."

Lukashenko had similar protests against him in 2005, which was due to the waves of Colorful Revolutions, in Europe and the Middle east. Mainly these revolutions occurred in former Soviet states, urging for Europeanization and democratization of their nations. These latest protests in Belarus could possibly be the late rejuvenation of the Color Revolution, what was supposed to happen in the former Soviet state in the early 2000s. But since the Belarussian state has comfortably positioned its role as the ‘little brothers’ of Russians, due to Lukashenko’s rule, these revolutions which have occurred in Georgia and Ukraine, did not take place in Belarus. On the contrary, Belarus has been ruled by a pro-Russian, anti-European and anti-Western dictator for more than 25 years.     

Lukashenko has said during the protests of 2005, "these colored revolutions are pure and simple banditry. […] In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution." A little bit later he claimed that the West “thinks that Belarus is ready for some 'orange' or, what is a rather frightening option, 'blue' or 'cornflower blue' revolution. Such 'blue' revolutions are the last thing we need".

The US State Department issued an official statement about the latest presidential elections and the hazardous situation in Belarus.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the conduct of the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, which was not free and fair. Severe restrictions on ballot access for candidates, the prohibition of local independent observers at polling stations, intimidation tactics employed against opposition candidates, and the detentions of peaceful protesters and journalists marred the process. We regret that OSCE/ODIHR observers did not receive a timely invitation to monitor the vote. Free and fair elections, genuinely contested, are the basis for the authority and legitimacy of all governments.

We urge the Belarusian government to respect the rights of all Belarusians to participate in peaceful assembly, refrain from the use of force, and release those wrongfully detained,” reads the statement by the US State Department.   



11 August 2020 20:24