Sannikau: Single candidate will remain under Lukashenka’s control

Ex-presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau told about tortures, his family and a single opposition candidate in Belsat TV program Hot Commentary.

Torturers do not see themselves as citizens of Belarus

“It was terrible. Maybe, for the first time I declare that the pressure on me started from the very beginning. They asked me to admit all or inform of anything (but what? I had nothing to admit). They were real invaders who executed orders; they are people who do not see themselves as citizens of Belarus, it seems as if they were statesless persons at all,” Sannikau did not go into particulars telling about tortures in prison.

According to Sannikau, he addressed a petition for pardon to Lukashenka at a critical moment: “I had no hope I would be released… I just wanted to save my life”.

Wife and son

When asked why he did not take his family before the 2010 election the politician answered: “Imagine I am taking my family abroad – and that is all, my campaign ends! <…> You know, I did not expect such cynicism in relation to my family and especially to my son”.

Andrey Sannikau refused to pursue the subject saying he was afraid for the family. As a politician, he continues his activity abroad seeking partners and putting them in the way of things in our country.

Lukashenka’s European lobby

“My team suffered more than anyone else. Its core had to emigrate,” Sannikau said. Poland has done much for democracy in Belarus after the elections: granted asylum to refugees, assisted in their education and establishment, he stressed.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of Lukashenka’s lobbyists, mainly influential businessmen. “I ask my partners to do everething to release people,” Sannikau said talking about the possibility of inroducing tough sanctions against the Belarusian regime. The politician regards the talks between Lukashenka and the West as “trade”: “Dictatorship is congenial to certain businessmen and politicians; one can earn money on it”.

No single opposition candidate

According to the guest of Hot Commentary, the most dynamic opposition campaign took place in 2010. “I was against a single opposition candidate. I knew the candidate would work for different groups. Not that all the candidate – even those whom I consider to be pro-lukashist – were at one in thinking that change in the country was needed. And they carried it to people,” he said. Besides, Sannikau figured on the second round of voting. The politician sees no reason in electing a single candidate because he will remain under Lukashenka’s firm control.


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