Who will give more: Lukashenka or Democrats? Belsat.eu reсalls by how much presidential candidates in 1994, 2001, 2006 and 2010 promised to raise salaries and compares the figures with the then salaries and the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar.
1994: $ 200
The first person who decided to improve the welfare of Belarusians in dollar terms was Stanislau Shushkevich, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the 12th convocation. Before the 1994 elections, he voiced his intention to raise the average salary to $ 200, which was a very bold objective at that times. On June 1, 1994 (the 1st round of elections was held on June, 23), it took 22.4 rubles to buy a single dollar, and the average salary was about $23.8. So, Shushkevich promised a 10-fold raise!
2001: From $ 250 to $ 400
Uladzimir Hahcharyk, phot. gazetaby.com
The single opposition candidate in 2001, trade union leader Uladzimir Hancharyk, chose a more attractive figure – $ 300. It should be noted that earnings for the first seven years of Alyaksandr Lukashenka‘s had risen by almost half, but they still remained miserable. On August 1, the National Bank gave 1,420 Belarusian rubles for the dollar. The average salary was about $ 45. To fulfill his pre-election promises, the opposition candidate would have had to increase salaries by 7 times.
Syarhei Haydukevich, Chairman of the Liberal and Democratic Party and Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s ‘sparring partner’ with many years’ experience, was a beginner in 2001. But he easily promised $ 350-400 per month to the nation.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka visits Naroulya district hospital, 2001. Phot. belta.by
In 2001, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was scant of promises: only $250 ‘in the coming five-year period’. Perhaps, he was aware of the voting results during the election campaign and he felt that he would have to keep his word. But he failed to pull up the average salary to $250. On January 1, 2006, at the end of the five-year period and on the eve of the next elections, it was equal to $236.
2006: from $ 500 up to € 550
Alyaksandr Milinkevich, phot. dw.com
Alyaksandr Milinkevich, an opposition candidate and the leader of the movement ‘For Freedom’ stated that after the implementation of his election program there would be half a million jobs, which, together with the growth of productivity and foreign investments, would provide Belarusians with the average salary of €550.
Another opposition candidate, former rector of the Belarusian State University Alyaksandr Kazulin, did not name a specific amount, but promised to triple salaries and pensions within three years. His speech with the words “Where is the money, Alyaksandr [Lukashenka]?” was aired on February, 22 (watch the video below). We have estimated that in January the Belarusians earned an average of $ 236. Thus, Kazulin promised $ 708 in 2009. “And this is not fiction, it is a sober calculation,” he said.
Ahead of the 2006 elections Alyaksandr Lukashenka raised the bar to the famous $ 500. And by the next election (as in 2006) he almost fulfilled his promise with the help of Russian loans and official statistics. In November 2010, the Belarusians were paid the average salary of Br 1,430,000, which was equal to $477.
2010: from $ 600 up to 1000
Yaraslau Ramanchuk, euroradio.fm
In 2010, economist Yaraslau Ramanchuk, a contender of the United Civil Party, dared to overtake Lukashenka and promised $600 within two years.
Another candidate, economist Viktar Tsyareshchanka, was set to square the rate of the dollar and the Belarusian ruble and wages of ‘European standards’ within 5-7 years.
In December 2010, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was confident enough to announce that the average salary would reach $1,000 in 2015.
But according to official statistical data of July 2015, it amounted to Br 7 mln. ($ 459 on the basis of the exchange rate in August, or $ 393 – at today’s exchange rate of the dollar).
The presidential election-2015 is scheduled for October, 11.