“the state of Emergency will help keep incompetent leaders in power for some time — it is. But not for long. Our people want to live freely…” These lines was published 29 years ago. The man who wrote them, the people’s Deputy of the BSSR, Alexander Lukashenko, was underestimated at the time of possible emergency. It helps him to stay in power here for 26 years. But in relation to people’s desire for freedom he did was not wrong. Every dictatorship will sooner or later end in failure.

by the Way, the paper, published in may 1991 in Minsk “Narodnaya Gazeta”, was called “Dictatorship: a Belarusian variant?” A question mark, most likely, put edition. The author is no doubt about it: “seriously want to say that what is proposed in the Program of the government and its Prime (it was about the program for social protection of the population and stabilize the economy. — A. K.), is a dictatorship in the economy and politics… I and my constituents do not want the system to go to work, and trembling from fear, waiting for some initiative punishment.”

Today, the same is said of opponents of Lukashenko. And vysmeivaetsya when they-the propaganda cliches he repeats himself. Somehow it reminds of the famous joke about a stopped clock that twice a day shows the correct time. The words of Alexander Lukashenko trendsetta ago exactly describe the current situation: “It comes to the ridiculous when you constantly repeat the same thing: the opposition is a monster, and those who support it among the residents of Belarus, and destructive elements. Whatever you say, but I think that this is the last argument of those in power”.

However, this article not written then, to once again laugh at Lukashenko’s inconsistency and narrow-mindedness. By and large, Alexander G. then, in 1991, was right: the incompetent leader really will not save any extraordinary measures. Not in the horse feed. But the President of Belarus to mediocrity will not carry. The incompetence would not work to create a system of government that not only allowed us to fully realize their own political ambitions, but, as they say, went to the exports: in many ways, very many ways, became the standard model for Russia.

Actually, that’s why the political crisis facing the country today, on the eve of the presidential election — and that is unlikely to end after them, whatever the official results, so important to us. It allows us to understand in particular the strengths of our own political system.

upside down

Someone will probably notice that the pioneers of the “sovereign democratic” path withTali in the post-Soviet space Central Asian regimes. And will be right. But the Belarusian version of this General route still much closer to us — and not only because of the relative “constituent peoples”.

If Central Asian Soviet Republic immediately, without any transition period, turned into a khanate, that Belarus, like Russia, had to breathe the air of freedom deeply. And just as with us, this heady mix played with Belarusians cruel joke. Democracy turned to chaos, which seemed to be one salvation — a strong hand. Decisive, not chewing snot head. Zealous Owner of the country.

But here’s the paradox — that freedom has made possible the rise to power of these wonderful people. Would not be the “dermokraty”, “drunkards” and “the destroyer of the USSR,” Yeltsin — there would be a “collector of land” Putin. And Lukashenko is not done without high patrons: in 1994, at first in Belarus presidential election until shortly before it adopted a new Constitution the country was a parliamentary Republic, he represented himself. Was one of the opposition candidates. The candidate of the government were Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich.

the battle was real, without a giveaway. A characteristic episode: after the first round of the elections Lukashenko, the winner, was beaten up by policemen while trying to go to his office: the guards received orders not to let him into the building. But the administrative obstacles did not prevent Alexander Grigorievich win in the second round.

However, amid the subsequent reign of the Father as was soon dubbed the young President (at the time of election he was 39 years old), then his troubles didn’t seem so unbearable. In the history of this campaign included not only as the first presidential election in Belarus, but as the last elections, whose results were recognized by all candidates and the international community. Simply put, as the last fair election.

we Should also pay tribute batkinoy of candor: this is the first and only of the sovereigns of the post — Soviet space and even in the world, which publicly recognize the fact of electoral fraud. Well, in his usual manner, of course. Version Lukashenka, underestimated his own results.

“the Last election we have forged, I already Westerners said it, — said the Belarusian leader, telling journalists about results of the presidential election campaign in 2006. For President Lukashenko voted 93.5 per cent. They say it’s not a European figure. We did 86. It really was. And if we start recounting the ballots, then I don’t know what to do with them at all.”

Can be called a Dad and a pioneer in the field themselves voting technologies. Say, such know-how how many days of voting, was tested in 1996, in a referendum on the Constitution. For the record: to the citizens was then made of the presidential and parliamentary amendment to the Basic law. The first involved a sharp increase in the powers of the head of state, transforming the form of government from a presidential-parliamentary to a super-presidential. Deputies offered to return to a parliamentary Republic.

Well, despite the fact that the referendum was scheduled for November 24, early voting has already begun in the 9th. That there were a total of 16 days. And predictable over a new triumph of the President: proposed change supported by official data, 70,45% of the voters. However, the legitimacy of the procedure, refused to admit even the Chairman of the Central election Commission Viktar Hanchar. For what had to be dismissed and replaced directly in a referendum, without waiting for the summing up.

the Opposition has characterized Lukashenka’s actions as a coup. But to counter it the moment is gone. Still, not enough obedient Parliament was dissolved. The new National Assembly, formed without election of the deputies loyal to the President. Infidels, announced the continuation of the activities of the Supreme Council and attempted to form an alternative CEC, was arrested. Well, the most rebellious opponents of the President, like the same Potter or the former Minister of internal Affairs Yury Zakharanka, began to abducted by “unidentified persons” and disappear without a trace.

Since then, the official policy of the Belarusian peace and quiet. Restless neither the parliamentary opposition nor to put a spoke in the wheel of reforms independent of the constitutional court, defeated in the course of the same crisis of 1996. But there is a powerful “vertical”, which together entwined all branches of government. As rightly noticed Alexander Lukashenko, “Belarus is only one politician — it’s me.”

the Icing on the cake was the President’s “reset”. A constitutional amendment repealing the limitation on number of term of stay of one and the same person for the presidential post was “no more than two terms”, was put to a referendum, held in late 2004. This time nation-wide voting went without a hitch and without a hitch.

Do as I

With mass-media Alexander Lukashenko figured out yet. You could even say it started with this. Which makes sense: without taking control of the main channels of influencing public opinion to erect a “vertical” would be impossible.

And here again it is necessary to praise the old Man for sincerity. Did not, like some, twist, dissemble. Said just, PRgoing to power: “From this day to influence the media and interfere in their work we will be very active. I came at least 10 years, and journalists to be ready for it”.

And this statement which is already on the outcomes of this work: “Epresidents no Newspapers. All the major Newspapers — presidential because their leaders are appointed by the President. I’m not here their functions someone to concede. This is too serious today to give to someone at the mercy of the media. In the measure would, if you are right to protect you. And will ask for the work. I will not rust” (live 2007). The same is true of television: “TV stations subordinated directly to the President” (2008).

And this is the attitude of the business: “Businessmen are leeches, sucking the blood. They need to shake off, like a lousy flea!” Well, it is, of course, about the small and medium business. With the “giants” big trouble there: most major companies and banks in Belarus is state-owned. What is perhaps also more honest than ours, where the control of private business is conducted through a complex system of relations between authority and those who in Russia are called oligarchs.

But Russia was still capable student — the sphere of the state audit office continuously expanding. In the economy, in politics and in the sphere of mass communications, and everything else. How our model gosustroystva closer over the last two decades, shows the statement made by Lukashenka in 2001: “I think it is useless now, the system of power in Russia in the sense that you all are elected, all independent. Governors are elected. The mayor, for example, Yekaterinburg is elected, the heads of regional administrations are elected… In my opinion, it is unlikely that someone will work well”.

Strict mentor gave us the “unsatisfactory”, and we started to improve. Three years after this statement Russia had abolished elections of regional governors. After eight, however, is back, but rather de jure than de facto. The standard algorithm is known to be: the former “Governor” ahead of schedule resigns, his place is the presidential appointee-acting — usually a member of “United Russia”, whose powers are confirmed then stripped from the competitors election. Exceptions — such as Sergei Furgal — only prove the rule. Yes, and this is now where Furgal?

With the mayors, the situation is even more straightforward. The mayor, elected directly by the population — is rapidly dying in Russia the kind of policy. At the end of last year, they were only 12 percent of Russian cities. In the same Yekaterinburg, Lukashenko surprised his outlaws, the election of the mayor abolished in 2018.

moving Closer to that Prim��definitively, not only practice but also theory. The monumental work “the Belarusian way”, published in 2009 by the Information and analytical centre under the administration of the Belarusian President, the defining characteristic built Lukashenka States, “the state of the people”, called “the people’s confidence in government.” And not just for power, but to the first person: “the Majority of citizens trust the President and that him and the presidency have pinned their hopes on the improvement of living conditions”.

But for comparison, last year the Central thesis of the article, Vladislav Surkov, a former presidential assistant, “a Long state of Putin”: “In the new system, all institutions are subordinate to the main task of trusting communication and interaction of the ruler with the citizens… the Modern model of the Russian state begins with trust, and trust holds.”

in short, where throw — everywhere a common generic features. And almost all of them previously appeared in the guise of Belarusian statehood. What to say about politics, even if the fashion for tightly sealed, not viewed from the outside the personal life of a public leader has gone from the edges? First lady Belarus has never been seen in public. About Galina Rodionovna Lukashenko is known is that the President with her longer lives. However, to divorce, despite a purely Platonic relationship, the couple somehow do not want.

the divorce from the first and only official wife, admitted as Alexander Lukashenko, has never insisted, neither the mother of his latest, the third son, nor the current companion. Which is generally not known. But, perhaps this is the only subject where the student has surpassed the teacher: about the personal life of Russian President’s information is even less.

the old Man and hell

Not always, however, the lag is bad. “Don’t get ahead of yourself”, — says the proverb. In our case, the word “father” may be understood as a proper name. And “hell” isn’t hyperbole: the degree of political confrontation in Belarus is growing every day. The old man really reaches into the Inferno, speaking to us, the Russian observers, as the courageous experimenter. Checking whether to discard the democratic scenery and last appearances, not bringing down the regime.

While the results are inconsistent. On the one hand, Lukashenko managed to neutralize the most powerful competitors in the forthcoming August 9 election of the President. Two of them — Sergei tikhanovski and Victor Babariko — in prison. Before the third looms the same prospect: according to the interior Ministry, law enforcement agencies received materials “on the facts of illegal activity of Valery Tsepkalo”. All three, of course, failurebut in registration.

But the problem not only remained, but worse. The problem with the fact that, according to batkinyh ideologues, is the cornerstone of its political regime. The issue of trust.

the Crisis of confidence began, of course, not yesterday. But from time to time was stopped pros “the people of the state”: political and economic stability, and order in the streets and slow but steady growth of people’s welfare.

First convince people of the correctness of the course chosen was very simple: reminders of the disasters of the early — mid 1990s, nullified all efforts of the opposition. But nothing is eternal under the Moon. 1990s gradually erased from memory. And the younger generation and remembering nothing. Its current life of the citizens of the Republic prefer not to compare with tolocalename era, but with modern life in neighboring Poland, where increasingly go to work.

But from the wreckage of socialism, the poles began to emerge almost simultaneously with the Belarusians. Well, a little earlier. But they had no wise permanent leader since 1990 on the post of the head of state visited eight people — no “vertical of power”, nor cheap Russian energy and credits. The rating of Vladimir Putin, one time subsidies from Russia amounted to 40 percent of Belarusian budget. But despite all these benefits, salaries and pensions in Poland at least three times higher than the Belarusian. How so?

it May be just the leader? It is clear that, like every philosophical question, this too has no clear answer. But here it is important, not the truth itself, but what is the opinion of the subjects of the leader. Because political sociology in the country, have to rely on external manifestations of public sentiment. But, according to him, the changes are obvious. Yes, all these features were observed before and street performances, and antilukashenkovskie graffiti, and others. But never before the protest took on such a scale.

“for the First time in 20 years, we have so much energy that we can win,” — said the presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovski — wife of Sergei Tikhanovski, continuing the arrested husband. And it’s not just the high-profile campaign phrase. If power is otherwise assessed the situation, if she was not afraid to lose, you probably wouldn’t be thrown in jail for opposition nominees.

Svetlana is the only representative of real opposition among the registered candidates. Its main electoral promise — the holding (immediately after election) a new, fair elections. The fact of his registration, she explains that, unlike her husband and other opposition candidates, she did not seem dangerous to the authorities. “They do not understand��and that the threat to the government — it’s not the candidates, she adds. — It is the people who are tired of living in humiliation and lack of freedom”.

it Seems that the power really is miscalculated. Headquarters taken from a distance of Babariko and Tsepkalo announced they are working on Tikhanovski. In fact, she became a candidate of the United democratic opposition — and this is also an unprecedented phenomenon for Belarus. A United opposition, it turns out, the government itself.

What will “work on mistakes”? The choice of options is small. Liberalization and the gradual withdrawal of the political retirement discard as obviously unrealistic scenario. Although Alexander G., and calls himself an “Orthodox atheist”, certainly knows known the truth of the gospel: “as you judge others will judge you, and what measure you mete, it will be measured”. And so, will hold onto power until the last.

But in this case it remains only to stick to the old line. Tighter to tighten the screws, all securely isolated from society “destructive elements”, all the harder to compress the media and business, all the bigger to rig the elections. If not to cancel them.

In General, the experiment continues. Interesting and very informative for us. But to repeat it at home, the Russian conditions is not recommended. Twisted by chance, will break the thread — and down the drain.