Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gives a press conference in Minsk on Dec. 20, 2010.
Elspeth Lodge January 13, 2011 – 4:25 pm
Autoradio‘s general director, Yury Bazan, claims that National Commission for Broadcasting officials never explained the decision to shut down the station:
“We scanned all the recent airtime and found and just one single phrase … that the fate of the country is decided not in kitchens but on the streets,” he said, the Associated Press reports.
Belarusian pro-democracy website Charter’97 reports that in December’s presidential election, Autoradio was the “only” station agreeing to air ads for Mr. Lukashenko’s opposition, Andrei Sannikov. They also report that campaign materials of Sannikov had been aired during only two days on Autoradio when the the authorities began to pressure them to stop broadcasting the ads.
The station plans to attest the ruling in court, given that during the time of broadcast neither the Central Election Commission nor the Ministry of Information voiced objections to the ads.
Mr. Lukashenko is continuing his 14-year hold over the presidency in Belarus after a disastrous election day on Dec. 19 — 700 people in Minsk were taken into custody as violent protests erupted from opposition who insisted the election results were flawed, AP reports.
The U.S. has called Belarus Europe’s last dictatorship.
A breakdown of the phrase’s significance:“the fate of the country is decided not in kitchens but on the streets”
- The words were broadcast by presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov during the presidential campaign over Autoradio.
- The comment draws attention back to the night of the presidential election on Dec.19., when Mr. Sannikov gathered together thousands of his supporters to take the streets and protest fraudulent vote counting, reported the AP.
- Kitchens are often used for the purpose of late-night political conversations with friends and relatives.