Sunday, December 19, 2010

Belarus Election

CNN is reporting, to no one's surprise, that Alexander Lukashenko has won the election there. President Lukashenko, dubbed "the last dictator of Europe" by Condi Rice, has been in power since 1994. No less than nine candidates ran against him, and when the exit polls returned the result, protests erupted in the streets of Minsk as everyone knows this election is not legit.

This past week, leading up to the election, Foreign Policy magazine ran a story about life in Belarus under the dictatorial regime. The eight or nine mini-bios in the article describe an authoritarianism that to most living in the twenty-first century, seems to more closely Hollywood films than anything that would be deemed modern on the European continent. To think that Belarus is more or less boundaried, certainly to its west, by thriving social democracies who long ago sought to rid themselves of anything not resembling a democratic society, makes the situation in Belarus even more astounding.

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