One line of the originally submitted song is suspected of mocking the protests in the country against the ruler Lukashenko. The ESC makers also rejected a second song. Belarus is upset.
Belarus was excluded from the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May. That was decided by the European Broadcasting Union. The newly submitted song also violates the ESC rules, which ensure “that the competition is not instrumentalized or discredited”. The state broadcasting company of Belarus failed to “submit an eligible contribution within the extended deadline,” it said.
“The decision to exclude us is politically motivated,” said the chief broadcasting company of Belarus, Ivan Ejsmont, according to the state agency Belta. Those responsible for the ESC were put under pressure by “politicians and haters in social networks”.
At first Belarus submitted the song “Ja nauchu tebja” (“I will teach you”) by the band Galasy ZMesta. The ESC organizers complained about this song that in its current form it “questions the non-political character of the competition”. There had been complaints because the song with lines like “I’ll teach you to dance to the tune” mocked the protest movement against long-term ruler Alexander Lukashenko in the eyes of many people. Belarus submitted a new song by the band after the criticism, which has now also been collected by the ESC officials.
Last year there were mass protests against Lukashenko for months after the presidential election on August 9, which was widely considered to be falsified. The head of state, criticized as the “last dictator in Europe”, had the election commission declared himself the winner again after 26 years in power. The EU no longer recognizes him as president. Tens of thousands of people were arrested. Many of them criticized massive police violence.