MINSK, 7 May (BelTA) - Belarus will hold early presidential election only if the United States does the same, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke to the media on 7 May, BelTA has learned.
“I am all for it. I am saying it publicly. I am for the election they demand. I will get over, though we are independent and sovereign. I am ready to do this simultaneously with the United States. As soon as the United States calls early presidential election, we will call the election in Belarus the same day,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The head of state recalled how the election campaign was held in the United States: people voted by mail, ballots cast for Donald Trump were discarded. These facts were made public. “They wiped their feet on the then incumbent president. They still do not allow him on Twitter. They blocked his account there long time ago. What kind of freedom of speech is that?” the president asked a rhetorical question.
The EU countries criticize the Belarusian authorities for excessive use of force during the protests. Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled the live footage of the murder of one of the protesters in the United States. “Why did they shoot the woman? How many were killed?” asked the head of state. He also recalled last year's detention of George Floyd in Minneapolis: a police officer stepped on his throat, crushing his vertebrae and strangling him. “We all saw it,” the president added.
“I do not mean to say that the police officers in the United States have acted wrong in protecting Parliament, the stronghold of American democracy. So why then do they say that we acted wrong in defending our country? And after that they dare tell us to hold the early election. I will repeat: I am for it. Together with the United States: they did more wrong. We are still waiting for the European Union to give us its opinion on what happened in the United States. Why do the Europeans, such Democrats, keep quiet? Because they have skeletons in their closet, too,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
French President Emmanuel Macron said “It is an absolutely different story, we have democracy here” as he compared the actions of law enforcement officers in his country during the crackdown on protests with the events in Belarus. “Imagine these statements at such a level,” added the Belarusian leader.
“We can hold this election. The United States will never agree on re-election. We are ready to do this any day, as soon as they call an early election in the United States. Everything should be fair. I cannot easily imagine us voting by mail. No way we would have been allowed to do this, we would not even have had time to conduct the vote. They would not have just wiped their feet on us, they would have destroyed us. And yet, they can act like this. These are not double standards, it is a war to strangle, kill, destroy us. Because we did not obey them, did not submit to them. This is not because we are such heroes. This is because it is against our interests: we do not want to walk under someone else's whip anymore. That is the policy I am pursuing. I have promised to do this and I will do it.