Lukashenka recognizes vote rigging at national selection contest

The Belarusian leader has stated that the jury vote and viewer poll were rigged in singer Alyona Lanskaya`s favour. At the special government conference held on February 24, 2012 he fiercely critisized Eurofest organizers (Alexander Shakutsin, chairman of the board of equipment company Amkador, Culture minister Pavel Latushka and Henadz Davydzka, Head of the Belarusian State Television and Radio Company).

After giving out the Eurofest selection contest results on February 14, 2012 it was announced that singer Alyona Lanskaya would represent the Republic of Belarus at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. However, her victory in viewer poll was believed to have been won by chicane: administrative resources might have been used to secure the selection of Ms. Lanskaya as Belarus’ Eurovision 2012 entry. After she was announced the winner, her closest rival, Litesound band frontman Dzmitry Karakin, walked out of the ceremony in protest, while another runner-up did not even appear in the stage.

According to a number of media reports, president Lukashenka took into account a mounting public controversy and ordered to form a special committee which is to define whether the winner was appointed on an impartial basis. Later the probe confirmed allegations of vote rigging during Eurofest.

At the government conference on February 24, 2012 Lukashenka expressed deep concern that such problems have to be solved at the presidential level. «Fairness is the core of my policy. It is the thing that prevails over all principles that guide economic entities, citizens of our country, civil servants and so on,» he reminded.

Alexander Lukashenka mentioned that he was satisfied with the standards of the national selection contest organization and noted the significance of Belarus participation in similar international projects but in the same breath he hailed critisizm on the Eurofest organizers: «It is you, not me, who set the rules that the winner should be selected by a jury and TV viewers, the way it is done at Eurovision. What happened as a result? Everything happened the other way round!»

Lukashenka warned that criminal proceedings would be instituted in connection with the vote rigging, which had not served a good turn to Alyona Lanskaya.

The Belarusian president was also concerned about the financial side of the problem: he stressed that this situation would teach a good lesson for the people engaged in the spheres of culture and science: «Not earning money they are unable to count it properly.»

According to the decision made at the conference, Litesound band will represent Belarus at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku instead of Ms. Lanskaya.


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