Belarusians vote for Azerbaijan on Eurovision... for money (photo)


Right after the Eurovision song contest was over, Lithuanian journalists published the results of the investigation which revealed an attempt to falsify the voting results. Before the phone voting started, some people walked around Vilnius, enlisted groups of students, and gave them several phone numbers. The Lithuanians were expected to vote for Azerbaijan via sms message, and received money for that - EUR 20. The story is highly likely to become a scandal, as Azerbaijan was among the favourites this year - the singers from this country got the second place (Lithuania gave 12 points to Azerbaijan and 10 to Belarus).

Please see the table containing the results of voting for Azerbaijan singers in Belarus and Lithuania for the last 5 years.


















Lithuanian journalists are not the first to reveal similar schemes. Euroradio learnt the same scheme in Belarus back in 2009. Unknown people paid Belarusian students so that they would vote for Azerbaijan, and even drove them to the Belarusian-Lithuanian border by buses. According to Euroradio's calculations, about $20 thousand was spent on the action.

10 buses were rented in different Minsk bus parks for this time. They put the students on the buses and drove in the direction of the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, to Pastavy border crossing point. Upon arrival, the passengers voted with their Belarusian sim-cards, and then the organizers of the combination handed them Lithuanian sim-cards and the students voted one more time.

Euroradio decided to check if this information was true, especially taking into consideration the number of votes which Azerbaijan singers Aisel and Arash with their song "Always" got: 10 points form Belarus and 5 points from Lithuania. In Belarus, Azerbaijan even got ahead of Russia! Aisel and Arash got he sensational third place then - if it wasn't for Rybak, every point from every country would count to determine the winner.

Natsik Bagirov, the leader of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Belarus - the "Gabustan" partnership - used to tell then that he knew nothing about the situation.

Natsik Bagirov: "It would have been interesting for me to learn, who gave you this information, that someone rented buses, or took some people to the border. The diaspora organized nothing like this. Every action of the diaspora is carried out under my direct supervision. It never happened, that someone rented buses and went to the border massively. It would have been me, or my deputies under my order. But it never happened."

Minsk bus parks refused to discuss the subject officially, but confirmed everything unofficially. The buses were rented not in one place, but in several bus parks, 2-3 buses in each. All of them moved in the direction of Pastavy. They parked there for some 20 minutes and then turned back to Minsk.

The drivers informed that the organizers of the "Euro auto run" paid Br 100 thousand (prices of 2009) to each participant of the action - they saw it with their eyes. Besides, rental of a bus from Minsk to Pastavy costs about Br 1 million ($ 360, approximately).

It is curious that the drivers see nothing weird about this journey. According to them, this is the way every Eurovision song contest goes. Only the countries for which the travelers vote change every year.