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Popular vlogger announces presidential bid
Siarhei Thikhanouski / Screenshot from video
Vlogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, the owner of the popular The Country for Life channel on YouTube, has said he wants to become a candidate for Belarusian presidency. In his video statement, he criticized the authorities and announced 2020 as the year of changes.
According to Tsikhanouski, his almost 150 000 subscribers are asking him to take part in the presidential campaign, because "they do not believe in anyone else and do not see a candidate they could follow and trust."
The vlogger says he wants to reinstate the 1994 Constitution, points to the regular election rigging in Belarus, and stands up for free and fair elections.
"All Belarusians live in fear. People are scared to lose jobs, so they keep silent," Tsikhanuski said, calling on people to join his nomination team.
The vlogger became famous for his videos about the life of people in the regions of Belarus. He shows an uncensored picture of life in Belarus, exposes problems, and allows people to speak out.
On 6 May, the police detained him near Mahilou and took him to Homiel. Some 20 people, including 19 of his supporters in Minsk, were also detained. They were released late at night after recording an administrative offense.
The date of the next presidential elections in Belarus is yet to be announced but President Lukashenka said recently that they would be held in summer and not later than the end of August.