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Candidates' meeting crowded in Mscislau
18.09.2008 .

It was hard to find a vacant seat in the meeting with candidates in Mscislau. Apart of members of electoral commission the OSCE observers attended the event as well.

Local administration has been found well prepared in organizing the meeting of voters with candidates registered in the Horki electoral district 81. All the room with 180 seats was crowded. The secret of this success could be simply explained by the proper made announcement that was published in the district newspaper. The officials have also sent telephone messages to administrations of local enterprises demanding to inform workers about the planned meeting. In other words local administration used its soft power or telephone right as it was called during the Soviet times, to push managers to provide compulsory attendance as international observers were supposed to participate in the meeting as well.

It is worth to note that the room was well equipped with sound amplifier, furniture and rostrum. Apart of MP candidates, among the participants there were also seen Chairperson of the Horki DEC, his secretary as well as an official from local administration. Editor-in chief of a local newspaper Kaciaryna Cishkevich was given the floor to begin the meeting. She praised for her candidate Tacciana Asmalouskaja in every way. Then Tacciana, MP introduced herself to the public. She said that she had always been improving her professional capabilities. As a deputy of the parliament she managed to communicate with 500 people that required a lot of patience of hers because she was not able to help people indeed. That is why it is not surprised that she often performed a role of a psychologist but not a politician at all.

Official candidate promised to give her support to the development of small business from the one hand and to the development of the state agricultural sector from the other hand. She stated that she did not agree with the idea to perform reforms just for reforms. But she would like to see the increased role of a church in the society, the improved work conditions for teachers and medical staff and peace and friendship with all countries and people.

Pro-democratic MP candidate Andrei Yurkou talked about living conditions of ordinary people that went from bad to worse for the last year. He said that the last governmental decisions to remove social benefits, to reform secondary school by reviewing school programmes, to build Nuclear Power Plant in Horki together with the increasing unemployment and poor salaries in agricultural sector will lead us to unfortunate results. Andrei Yurkou promised to defend people and their interests legally as a politician. He argued that Belarus is a reach country which has balance of payments surplus for years. The country has money to solve your problems. We will find this money. We need to have real public control over the government, - Andrei Yurkou argued.

Aliaksandr Milinkevich from the rostrum called people to vote for Andrei Yurkou.

Then people had an opportunity to ask questions. Old people said that their pension was not enough to buy quality medicines. They wanted social benefits to be resumed at least some of them otherwise they were not able to care about themselves. Asmalouskaja, official candidate, responded for this just right as a strange psychologist We are thinking about it There was also an interesting comment on welfare payments that are given by local administrations. A lot of people were upset with governments behaviour since officials apply very strict procedure in securing the welfare that the local government uses only for the propaganda reasons. In fact, people must be real ragamuffins if they want to get the state assistance. They also complained that school costs are too high for them. Some of them reminded officials that their bank savings which they had had in Soviet banks had not been returned yet.

I understand your problems but each society has always got those people who are not satisfied, - Asmalouskaja told philosophically. What are you sitting there (in the parliament) for? - Someone shouted loosing his patience.

At the end of the meeting people asked Andrei Yurkou to explain why he does not want to work with Lukashenka for peoples interests? He said that he was always ready to work for the peoples interests. He would be able to work with anybody if he had an opportunity to tell truth face-to-face. But this is not the behaviour that Lukashenkas ministers are used to stick to.

The meeting lasted for an hour and a half. Another candidate in the Horki district Alena Karaed, head doctor of the Horki hospital, did not come to the meeting because at the last moment someone in the government decided to make her a candidate to the Council of the Republic upper house of the Belarusian parliament.



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