Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Belarus Voter Turnout Reaches Two-Thirds

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There have been validating voter turnouts in all 110 electoral districts in today’s parliamentary election in Belarus. The overall turnout has already reached two-thirds. CIS observers praised the election as very well-organised, free, and fair. Appearing at a Minsk news conference Sunday, Russian observer Maksim Grigoriev described the decision by the two main opposition parties to boycott the election as part of a ploy to use public money for self-promotion. 762 foreign observers are watching the election, mainly, from the CIS and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

According to Belarusian law, for the election results to be officially recognised, they must total more than 50 percent of the registered voters. Several hours before closing, voting reached that level. The election is proceeding in a calm atmosphere. Nikolai Lozovik, a representative of the election commission, said that no complaints from voters have come so far. However, some time before the election, Belarus’s two largest opposition parties, the People’s Front and the United Civil Party, pulled their candidates from the election. Six other opposition blocs called on people not to vote in the election.

Russian analyst Andrei Suzdaltsev believed, “This might have been expected. From the very beginning, no Belarusian opposition bloc had any feasible chances for doing well in these elections. No Belarusian opposition party managed to conduct a sound pre-election campaign. They failed to hold any large-scale rallies. They even failed to explain to people what their political views are. I believe it’s very unlikely that these elections would make any serious changes in Belarus’s political life”.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly, called the House of Representatives, has 110 members, one from each constituency. The number of candidates for seats was three times bigger. Voting stations for Belarusian citizens opened in 32 countries. Belarusians who live abroad were allowed to vote within five days before the election in Belarus itself. The Belarusian Election Committee said that about 26 percent of the eligible voters used this right to vote ahead of time. However, some Belarusian opposition leaders say that by this step, Lukashenko is actually forcing Belarusians abroad to vote.

Russian observer Pavel Svyatenko said, “The authorities will hardly take these claims of the opposition into account. The opposition’s viewpoint will hardly have any influence on the election results. The only thing that the Belarusian opposition can do to make the government to listen to their point of view in such a situation is to hold some rallies or other public actions after the elections. I don’t believe that the West strongly supported the Belarusian opposition. Currently, the West is just not strong enough for that. Europe is in the grip of an economic crisis. The USA, besides an economic crisis of its own, is also experiencing a political crisis. Without support from the West, the Belarusian opposition can hardly be strong”.

Starting from the 1990s, the USA and the EU haven’t recognised the legitimacy of the results of any presidential or parliamentary elections in Belarus. However, these countries still maintain diplomatic and economic relations with Minsk.

23 September 2012

Mikhail Aristov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_23/Belarus-voter-turnout-reaches-two-thirds/

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On Sunday, turnout reached just under two-thirds nationally in Belarus’ parliamentary election, with the authorities proclaiming the poll a success and the opposition saying it was a farce. Central Election Commission representative Lidia Yermoshina said she was pleased with how the election had gone, after the polls closed at 20.00 local time (21.00 MSK 18.00 UTC 13.00 EDT 10.00 PDT 03.00 24 September EADT), telling journalists in Minsk, “I’m delighted at the conduct of the election. Any election campaign which doesn’t arouse discontent in society is already successful”. National turnout was 65.9 percent by 18.00 local time (19.00 MSK 16.00 UTC 08.00 EDT 05.00 PDT 01.00 24 September EADT), she said. The lowest turnout was in the capital Minsk, where just 52.67 percent of eligible voters turned up.

The Belarusian Central Election Commission declared the elections valid at 15.00 local time (16.00 MSK 13.00 UTC 05.00 EDT 02.00 PDT 22.00 EADT), after more than 50 percent of eligible voters had cast ballots. In its statement, the commission said, “The appearance of half of the voters on the list allows us to declare the election valid”. Meanwhile, representatives of five opposition groups and parties said that the vote couldn’t be described as transparent or democratic due to interference by the authorities in the electoral process.

A statement signed by representatives of the Belarusian left party Fair World, the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Gromada), For Freedom movement, the Speak the Truth civil campaign, and BNF party, said, “Now, this [interference] gives us the right, independently of the voting results that’ll be declared by the election commission, in which opposition political blocs weren’t allowed, to say before the results are declared that we don’t recognise these 2012 elections to the chamber of deputies as fair, transparent, or democratic”. The opposition leaders signing the statement “called on international organisations to increase political pressure on the Belarusian government to stop repression, free political prisoners, and return rights and freedoms to all those arrested for political motives”.

The opposition claims the pre-election campaign was marred by pressure on opposition candidates by the state in which “the authorities illegally barred its opponents’ right to freely contact the electorate even to the limits allowed by the law”. Opposition leaders said the election process itself was characterised by “interference by state officials at all levels”. The Central Election Commission claims the opposition declaration is part of a strategy devised long before the election, of pandering to a Western audience. Central Election Commission secretary Nikolai Lozovik said on Sunday in response to the opposition declaration, “Some opposition politicians declared their non-recognition of the election result back at the start of this year. They do this so as to show the media and foreign politicians that Belarus has no elections, and they can’t be free and fair”. The two main opposition parties, United Civic and the BPF, pulled out of the parliamentary election a week ago and urged voters to go fishing or mushroom picking instead of going to the polls, which they call “pseudo-elections” for a “fake” parliament.

Observers from a CIS monitoring group said the election met international standards, the group’s leader, CIS Parliamentary Assembly leader Roman Amburtsev told journalists in Minsk, saying, “In my opinion, the electoral process is proceeding normally. International and nation observers are taking part at the polling stations”. Another election observer, Maksim Grigoriev of the RF Public Chamber, said the voting proceeded well from a technical viewpoint, noting, “First of all, the Central Election Commission worked well. The process was well prepared from a technical viewpoint. It’s all going well enough. From a standards viewpoint, I think we’re at an international level”. He also noted the misunderstanding of observers caused by the boycott by the two main Belarusian opposition parties who withdrew their candidates a week before the vote, adding, “I can say the situation with some parties, who pulled their candidates at the last minute, presented us with a few questions. A democratic system means candidates have to take part in elections regardless of how the authorities relate to them. Their game is clear, to use taxpayers’ money for advertising. Under Belarusian law this is legal, but from the viewpoint of generally-accepted democratic norms, it isn’t right”.

The election to the House of Representatives, its lower house of the National Assembly, will select 110 winners from 293 candidates, one from each district. The opposition claims the Belarus parliament has turned into a “pocket” chamber that rubberstamps President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s directives. Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, was re-elected in in December 2010. Dozens of opposition figures, including political rivals, were arrested after violent protests in Minsk following the announcement of the presidential election results.

23 September 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/exsoviet/20120923/176172647.html

23 September 2012. If You Think that the OCA Situation is Murky Now…

I can understand why people such as Mark don’t want to chronicle THIS… but it WAS the end result of all the years of lies from SVS, Syosset, and the OCA/ROCOR First Families, coupled with unhinged konvertsy delusions (Fathausen, anyone?). It still doesn’t make it pleasant or palatable… but deal with it, we must.

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I got this from a contact:

The people who pay attention to such things are grumbling that we’ve had no news since Moriak’s letter about a month ago and nothing seems to be happening. Our priest, when asked, says he has no news either. Moriak’s still commemorated in services. He’s supposedly on administrative leave, yet the schedule of parish visitations is still up on the diocesan website, which a few people think is misleading and confusing. I’ve heard stories about people not wanting to go to the Diocesan Assembly and the Sobor, but their parish asked them to go as their delegate. It’s very odd, when others want to be delegates. Now, tell me, what person chooses to go to such an event? They must like watching train wrecks, I assume. It’s been too quiet and I’m waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.

I replied:

There’s going to be MORE silence and confusion… EVEN AFTER THE SOBOR. I predict that it isn’t going to satisfy anyone. That’s what I see. Blood, toil, tears, and sweat… but that’s our lot in our time. Live with it. It’ll allow a moribund beast to be put to sleep… and that’s a good thing. However, the time forward won’t be pleasant or nice, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves about it. Be good… and keep the jug at hand, you’re going to need it.

The word I hear out there isn’t reassuring to the First Family flotsam and jetsam. However, they’re not going to give up their grip on power unless they’re forced out. That’s the way of it in human affairs. As Frederick Douglass put it:

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. … If there’s no struggle, there’s no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Up to now, the First Families and their lickspittles have attacked, vilified, and spat at all those who’ve raised their voices. Such can’t go on forever. However, if you want it to end, you must accept the fact that it may be painful… indeed, probably, SHALL be painful. Shall we pay that price? I have no bloody idea.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 23 September 2012

Albany NY  

23 September 2012. A Point to Ponder… Marko and Varko DO Know a Thing or Two…

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If you gave me the choice between hanging with a professor, a “therapist”, an “expert”, and a mid-level manager or with a bunch of peasants, I’d chose the peasants, any road, any day. You’ve a better chance of meeting decent and caring folk amongst the “ordinary herd” than you do amongst the Affluent Effluent and the Suburban Commandos. Such has been my experience… and I think that most people would concur. Most of the “better classes” that I’ve met weren’t… if you catch my drift. A McMansion in the right gated suburb is NOT a guarantee of humanity, indeed, it may signify the exact opposite.

Remember what Our Lord Christ said of such… they have their reward. Now, that’s thought-provoking…

BMD

23 September 2012. A Smile From the Russian Web: Coffee! Now!!

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I saw this image on the Russian web, and inspiration struck. Doesn’t this sound like your man first thing in the morning? Hmm…

BMD

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