Open address of Vital Rymasheuski to Uladzimir Niaklajeu and Aliaksandr Milinkevich
In the looming prospect of parliamentary elections in Belarus, which are scheduled for September 23, 2012, co-chairman of Belarusian Christian Democracy Party Vital Rymasheuski made an open appeal to the head of the civil campaign “Tell the truth" Uladzimir Niaklajeu and the leader of the political movement "For Freedom" Aliaksandr Milinkevich and called them for joining their forces for unification of democratic opposition during the election campaign in 2012.
Vital Rymasheuski called upon these organizations and its leaders to stick to the declaration, which was signed in February 2012 (In Belarusian http://pyx.by/bel/naviny/belarus/1799/ ). By signing the declaration, the civil campaign "Tell the Truth" and the "For Freedom" movement made a commitment to to withdraw their candidates from the election, unless all political prisoners in Belarus are released. Vital Rymasheuski called on these political forces to join the boycott campaign.
September 15, 2012, the next day, after the open address, the BPF and UCP joined the boycott campaign and withdrew their candidates.
Of Vital Rymasheuski,
the co-chairman of Belarusian Christian Democracy Party,
to the head of the Civil Campaign "Tell the truth", Uladzimir Niaklajeu,
the leader of the "For Freedom" movement, Aliaksandr Milinkevich,
the chairperson of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), Irina Veshtard.
I appeal to you, as responsible politicians, to remind you that on February 2, 2012 the organisations chaired by you, namely, the movement "For Freedom," CC "Tell the Truth", BSDP (Hramada), together with the Belarusian Popular Front Party signed the declaration "About the public debate on the objectives and forms of participation of the Belarusian opposition in the "Elections 2012", in which, inter alia, stated:
"We firmly believe that the democratic candidates cannot be on the ballot papers at the time when still there are political prisoners in our country. We urge the Belarusian authorities to release them as soon as possible. We will encourage all members of the democratic community of Belarus to withdraw their candidates after using all of the legal possibilities of the election campaign a week prior to the start of early voting, if at that time all the fifteen political prisoners are not released, or in the country there will be new political prisoners".
You know very well that political prisoners are still behind bars, their situation only gets worse. Dzmitry Dashkevich’s prison term was extended for nearly a year. Other political prisoners face similar prospects.
Despite the above mentioned facts, at the moment only the Belarusian Popular Front showed its commitment to the signed declaration.
It is only one week remains to day of the "elections" and the early voting will start in three days.
It is still not too late to fulfil the commitments of the Declaration, which was signed by you, and address the citizens of the country publicly.
For the unity of the democratic opposition, which has been so much talked about in recent months, today you need to do not a big thing, namely, to keep your promises, which were publicly undertaken by you and your organisations.
This step will allow to stop the growing confrontation between democratic activists and provide an opportunity for cooperation within the Belarusian democratic opposition in the nearest future.
Vital Rymasheuski, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party
September 14, 2012, Minsk