On the morning of 9 December, first prime minister of independent Belarus Vyacheslav Kebich, who was the main rival of Alexander Lukashenko in the 1994 presidential election, has died. He was 84 years old.
On 26 November, Kebich contracted a coronavirus infection and was taken to hospital.
“His heart stopped, he had coronavirus, it affected his condition. I can’t give details about the funeral yet, we are dealing with the issue,” Oleg Kebich, the son of Vyacheslav Frantsevich, told TUT.BY.
Vyacheslav Kebich was the main opponent of Alexander Lukashenko during the first presidential elections in Belarus. Kebich’s campaign team was headed by Mikhail Myasnikovich.
In an interview with TUT.BY in 2014, Vyacheslav Kebich said: “My happiest memory is when, thank God, I stopped being the head of state. Being a leader is hard work. This means that you have no free time, no hobbies, and you work every day from morning until late at night. My working day started at 7.30 am and ended at midnight.[..] Recalling my life, I would like to go back in time to three periods of my life.
Firstly, the time when I was a student [he graduated from the engineering faculty of the Belarusian Polytechnic Institute]. It was the most fun time. Secondly, to the plant [Minsk Machine-Tool Plant named after Kirov – Ed.], because I was the owner there and saw the results of my work. And thirdly, to the State Planning Commission. Oddly enough, work results there were also tangible. But the State Planning Commission doesn’t exist anymore, I can’t return my student time or go to the plant because of the age.”
From 1990 to 1994, Kebich was the prime minister of Belarus. Together with Stanislav Shushkevich, he signed the so-called Belovezha Accords on the demise of the USSR and the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on 8 December 1991.
In 1994 he created the Belarusian Trade and Financial Union, which he headed in recent years. From 1996 to 2004, he was a Member of the House of Representatives. Kebich is a candidate of economic sciences, the author of the Temptation by Power and Belovezhskiy Gambit books.
He has several awards, including two Orders of the Red Banner of Labour, the Order of the Badge of Honor, the title of Honored Machine Builder of the BSSR and laureate of the State Prize of the BSSR. In 1996 he was awarded a certificate of honour of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Belarus. Vyacheslav Kebich was married, he raised a daughter and two sons.