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The Leader of Europe's 'Last Dictatorship' Is Facing an Unprecedented Challenge. Here's What It Could Mean for Belarus

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Europe’s longest serving leader Alexander Lukashenko has long worked hard to seem invincible. He has dominated past elections that the U.S. has deemed neither free nor fair and brokered no dissent and suppressed protests. Now, he is facing an unprecedented challenge as he runs for a sixth term as president of Belarus in elections on August 9. A former teacher and political novice, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has emerged as his main rival, pledging to topple Lukashenko’s regime and restore democracy.
Tens of thousands have rallied across Belarus in some of the country’s biggest opposition protests in a decade, amid mounting frustration over the government’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, combined with grievances about the economy. Referring to Lukashenko, protestors chanted ‘stop the cockroach’ and held placards reading ‘change!’.
“For the first time in his 26-year rule, Lukashenko knows the majority don’t support him,” says Aleksandr Feduta, a former aide to the incumbent, who was i…

Trinidad and Tobago: Government working to implement death penalty

January 22, 2012: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says Government will work to implement the death penalty in Trinidad as part of a serious crime reduction tool.

Persad-Bissessar was delivering an address yesterday at the Ministry of National Security Planning Workshop organised by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) yesterday at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel, Port of Spain.

With 30 murders in the first 21 days of the year, she said Government is aware of the upsurge in the homicide rate although it has been reduced significantly from 2009 to 2011.

“Despite the fact the statistics for 2011 reveal a decrease in homicide and serious crime, Government is appalled at the brutal nature of the crime. The cautious optimism with which we viewed last year’s statistics…should not be misinterpreted as complacency,” she said.

She said because of this the People’s Partnership government is prepared to use all the resources including the death penalty to vigorously pursue and contain criminal activity.

“To this end my government is committed to implementation of the death penalty which remains part of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago… We shall continue in our effort to facilitate the re-implementation of the death penalty so it might both punish the guilty and deter the would-be offenders,” she stated.

She said regrettably the Constitution Capital Offences Bill 2011 which required a special majority in Parliament did not receive the support of some members.

She said her Government that had introduced 11 other pieces of legislation to aid in combating, including the Abolishing of the Preliminary Enquiry Act, the DNA Bill among others.

Persad-Bissessar said since her Government took office back in May 2010, it had been attempting to address “the tsunami of crime that has hit Trinidad and Tobago”.

“We have pledged to the people of this country that we are going to rid the country the scourge of criminal elements which have been allowed for too long to thrive and prosper on the decent, innocent and hard-working people,” she said.

She added that the Government was compelled to admit that criminal violence occurred too regularly.

Earlier in her address, Persad-Bissessar crime and violence threatened the welfare of citizens and economic growth.

Minister of National Security John Sandy said the workshop was aimed at developing a policy where the Caribbean Basin becomes a safer and more secure place to work, live and do business.

Attending the workshop were United States Ambassador Beatrice Welters, Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs and various Government MPs.

Source: Trinidad Express, January 22, 2012

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