Updated at 17:58,12-04-2021

“Nobody could be shot and expelled from the party for making decision“


On July 15 the nomination of candidates for deputies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus began. Registration of initiative groups for nomination by collecting signatures in accordance with the laws is possible only until July 19.

What are the plans of the Belarusian opposition for nomination of candidates, and what tactics it prefers? UDF.BY correspondent learned this in the interviews.

Valery Uhnalou: Central Committee Plenum decided to go till end

Belarusian Party of the Left "A Just World" is the only one of all opposition parties announced that the party candidates are to go till the end.

"40 of our party members submit documents to the district election commissions to register initiative groups. In Grodno all of them have already filed the documents, in Vitebsk - not everybody, but today and tomorrow all our applicants will submit documents for registration of initiative groups. And, hopefully, we can begin to collect signatures and organize the pickets", said deputy chairman Valery Uhnalou. "We'll also nominate all our applicants from the party at the Party Congress on August 5 - in this way it will be harder to stop our candidates".

On June 1 the Central Committee Plenum of "A Just World" Party nominated 40 party members as possible candidates. The party leadership decided, the leftists will go in this campaign till the end.

"But changes are always possible", said Valeriy Uhnalou. "The Central Committee Plenum decided - to go till the end. But if the government are going raise irresistible difficulties, if they don't allow us to campaign, withdraw campaign materials, if the authorities' actions turn into a complete mess - it is possible, we'll refuse from further participation in this campaign".

Anatol Lyabedzka: There will be no UCP members in the ballot lists

UCP doesn't nominate candidates, but the speakers, who, after addressing people should withdraw from the election race. In fact, the decision has been taken already, but should be legally arranged at the second session of the Extraordinary Congress to be held on July 28.

"The nomination of speakers to be held at the Congress on July 28. Format of the campaign "For fair elections without Lukashenko" gives us the opportunity to use the formal mechanisms and tools for campaigning, but does not require us to move in an official way. We do not need to register initiative groups to collect signatures. We have the party nomination of the speakers - it will happen on July 28 at the first session of Extraordinary Congress. The party nomination guarantees control over decisions' implementation and ensures the safety of speakers, whom the pressure to be put on. We intend to nominate some 50 speakers", said the UCP leader Anatol Lyabedzka.

The decision to withdraw speakers for 5 days before the vote is taken, it's just needed to be prepared in a legal way at the congress.

"Five days before the election we are to hold another congress, or a second session of the Extraordinary Congress, where we take the decision to withdraw speakers. The decision was made in advance, but you need to legalize it", says Lyabedzka.

However, there is a problem with some UCP members, who announced their intention to take this campaign to the end. Sergei Balykin, for example, suspended its membership in the party during the election campaign. Oleg Korban also left the ranks of party members.

"There will be no UCP members in the ballot lists! There won't be Balykin and others, who is the UCP member during the election campaign", said Anatol Lyabedzka.

Gregoriy Kostusev: We recommend not even be nominated...

BPF nominates the candidates at the Party Congress on August 4 - at the moment the list includes about 40 people. This is the main way to nominate the BPF candidates. While some may register their initiative groups.

"We nominate candidates by the Congress, which to be held on August 4. We recommend our nominees, who have the strength and desire, to register their initiative groups, those who have no such desire, we advise to organize their people for information work with the population", said deputy chairman of the BPF Gregoriy Kostusev.

Those who may have problems at work because of participation in the campaign, the BPF leadership recommends not to be nominated.

"So far we have about 40 people who agreed to participate in the election campaign. The situation may change. If, for example, a person may have problems at work because of participation in the campaign, we recommend not even be nominated", said Kostusev.

So far, the BPF plans to withdraw candidates 5 days before the voting.

"The Congress may adopt another solution. But at the moment we are working according to the January decision. We will use television and radio, if the Congress changes the decision and we'll try not to use television and radio in case of our withdrawal within 5 days. We don't want to put the people in a situation when they have to compensate the used television and radio", said Gregoriy Kostusev.

Valery Frolov: Why to withdraw - they'll withdraw everyone by themselves

Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), which for more than a month was in a fever because of internal squabbles, during this campaign will behave very modestly: they nominate 4-5 people.

"Hramada is realistic about its capabilities, so we nominate 4-5 people. First - by collecting signatures, and then duplicate the nomination at the party congress. The congress is scheduled for August 12", said the deputy chairman Valery Frolov.

As for the tactics, the politician spoke very briefly and clearly: "We go till the end! Why to withdraw - they'll withdraw everyone by themselves!"

Sergei Wozniak: Nobody could be shot and expelled from the party

The civil campaign "Tell the Truth!" is not a political party, an that's why they don't take part in the elections officially. However, it can't prohibit their activists to run for the candidates.

"Documents to register initiative groups were started to be taken on July 15, and since the formation of district committees - we have had the first submission on July 12. 25-30 of our activists have expressed their desire to run as a candidate. Today, at the end of the day for more than 20 applicants will submit documents for registration of initiative groups", said one of the leaders of the campaign "Tell the Truth!" Sergei Wozniak.

If "Tell the Truth!" has no right to nominate their own candidates, who the campaign is betting on, whom it is going to support?

"For us, the campaign's activist is a man who shares the idea of ​​"civil contract". For us, this is fundamental point, and we support those people. Among the candidates are non-party people, there are members of other parties, there are people who showed up a week or a month ago, but support the idea of ​​"civil contract", said the politician.

Candidates should determine tactics during the campaign's final stage by themselves.

"After the registration of candidates, we will invite all of them in Minsk. They should form the Council of Candidates, who is supposed to decide - to go till the end or to withdraw. Naturally, nobody could be shot and expelled from the party for making the decision. But we try to ensure the decision was one for all: either all go or all withdraw. We will work to ensure the decision is one, and it is compulsory for all candidates", said Wozniak.

Vital Rymasheuski: BCD intends to carry out the active boycott

"Today, we along with Denis Sadowski will submit in the Central Election Commission an official inquiry with respect to the rights of citizens who intend to campaign for the boycott. The legislation does not prohibit campaigning for a boycott. Let's see whether we will be allowed as well the collectors of signatures to stand official pickets, distribute agitation products. Or they will ban at once", said co-chairman of the BCD committee Vital Rymasheuski.

With regard to the official view of the BCD on the parliamentary campaign, it has remained unchanged: "Unlike many other political forces, we do not change our position: the boycott of this "elections". None of the joint request of the democratic forces is satisfied, so we have only one option - the active boycott".

The BCD organizing committee will nominate their representatives to the election commissions.

"If they include our representatives - we will prepare them to participate actively in the work of commissions, if they don't - it will be another confirmation of the compaign's "democratization", adds Rymasheuski.

In addition, the BCD nominates its representatives to observers, is planning informational picketing and distributing leaflets. Rymasheuski emphasizes the intention to carry out the active boycott of the elections, despite financial difficulties.

"We want to conduct open, transparent, and worthy elections. But the main thing for elections is to be legitimate. And this depends on how free declaration of will is", declared Alexander Lukashenko on July 16 in Minsk during the meeting with the deputy of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Sergei Lebedev.

"Legitimate elections" in the regime's understanding - with the desired result, so that eventually the House of Representatives will be "correct". And in the sixth house there is no place for "the fifth column".