«The president in our country deals with many issues — from security to economy — that a person in a skirt is probably not able to tackle. But even if she’s able, our society is not yet ready for this,» Lukashenka opined after casting his vote in Minsk.
The incumbent’s remarks were aimed at the country’s first female candidate for president and Lukashenka’s opponent in this race, Tatsyana Karatkevich.
Lukashenka also cast doubt on Karatkevich’s spouse, and questioned his potential influence on her, were she to prevail in the race.
«We know who your husband is. Is he not in the Zubr [group]? He’s an extreme oppositionist. And when you become president, who will be running the country? A radical Zubr man? Or you?»
Zubr («bison» in Belarusian) was an opposition youth group operating mainly in Minsk in 2001-2006.
Karatkevich dismissed Lukashenka’s remarks as «sexist» and said that Belarusian society is ready for its first woman president.
The outcome of the race is widely seen as predetermined by most international observers, with little doubt that Lukashenka, first elected in 1994, will gain a fifth term in office.