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17 November 2019, 12:38

Lukashenko comments on provocations at Belarus' parliamentary elections

MINSK, 17 November (BelTA) – We do not want to create tensions around these scandals that occurred at polling stations, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko told reporters at a polling station on 17 November, BelTA has learned.

Journalists asked the president to comment on the incidents, threats and insults against polling station staff. “I know what to do with it. To be honest, we do not want to create tensions even over these scandals,” the president said.

The head of state called election commission members soldiers of the visible front, because they often have to work in difficult circumstances and face provocations. “They are on the front line today. They just need to hold out. I do not complain when someone throws the book at me alleging that I killed cats as a child, and was a prison warder or shot at someone and many other things of this kind. Absolute nonsense! I have never done things like that! It can be checked. Nevertheless, they keep slinging mud at me. I grin and bear it trying to frustrate their plans to advance to the second stage of this campaign - to make me respond to it frantically. It is nonsense, people will understand it,” the president said.

Going back to the incidents at polling stations, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We have recorded all these incidents and will treat these people as proscribed by the law. Now I do not want to cause issues, because some can say later that this dictator put pressure on the society, people, that he did not let them do something, etc. We need to be patient. We will deal with them. We will conduct the elections first, and then we will deal with them.”

The head of state informed that he gave instructions, first of all, to the police, to take tough action on such things, especially when some people start terrorizing families, distributing leaflets and threatening election commission chairpersons and members.

“They can count on reliable protection from me. They should keep in mind that I will act as I deem necessary. I want to repeat it to those who still do not get it: you have known me for many years. Those who cross the red line will be brought to book very fast. Therefore, we just need to be patient. I know how to protect them. We are doing it,” the president assured.

The head of state emphasized that such incidents will be met with harsh response. “Harsh means that if some moron, I apologize, starts jumping at voters, he will be straightened out so that he will never think of doing it again. You know the way the police can do it. It was my fault that I held the police back asking them to treat such people in a humane way. However, some do not appreciate such an attitude; six incidents were reported yesterday night. It is not many, but I do not want even a single election member to be affected. What is their fault? They sit and work and then you come and start harassing them,” the president said.

“We will bite heads off and wrench arms of those who will behave in such a way,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“You need to keep in mind that this is a rehearsal of the most important election campaign. They are testing the waters – on squares, at polling stations, they are pressurizing our people. They [election commission members] – teachers, doctors, engineers, they have their own issues. They have been put to the test, but those who have done it have realized that nothing will come out of it,” the president said.

The head of state assured: “We will not give our country away, this is our land and we will defend it and our people as we are supposed to in line with the law.”

The president also touched upon his recent visit to Austria and the talks held there: “I was asked many questions and I answered them candidly – I am not courting anyone. At the end I told them: watch out, because one day you might have to learn our democracy in order to save the European Union and each member of it.”

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