The Belarusian Christian Democracy Party: People’s Party with a Christian Heart
The fourth BCD Constituent Congress on 17 December 2011 in Minsk gathered 108 delegates from all over Belarus and more than 350 guests including heads and representatives of diplomatic missions from Great Britain, USA, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, guests from Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia. Several international representatives could not be present, because they were refused visas to Belarus.
Pavel Sieviarynets, the BCD co-chairman, accused to three years of labour camp, regretfully, could not be present at the Congress. The BCD strongly requests to assist the release and rehabilitation of Pavel and of other thirteen political prisoners – Ales Bialiatski, Andrei Sannikau, Dzimtry Bandarenka, Mikalai Statkevich, Dzmitry Dashkevich, Eduard Lobau, Mikalai Autukhovich, Yauhen Vaskovich, Ihar Alinevich, Aliaksandr Frantskevich, Mikalaj Dziadok, Artsiom Prakapenka and Pavel Syramalotau.
On the eve of the Congress the police arrested Dzmitser Shurkhaj and Alaksandr Charkashyn the leaders of BCD Brest region and Brest city organizations respectively on fraudulent reason of swearing in public (they were actually driving a car when they were detained) and accused to five days in prison on 16 December. Therefore, they could not participate in the Congress.
The BCD invited popular Belarusian rock singer Lavon Volski to give a concert of solidarity with the political prisoners in Belarus in the end of the event. Mr. Volski is on the black list of the Belarusian authorities. Therefore, the Palace of Culture of Minsk Tractor Works administration shut off the lights and sound equipment at 17.30 in order to prevent the musicians from playing. However, with enthusiastic support of the Congress participants Lavon played and sang several well-known and loved songs in the dim light.
Still the BCD Congress was successful. The BCD Statute and Programme were adopted; Pavel Sieviarynets, Vital Rymasheuski and Heorhi Dzmitruk were elected as the BCD co-chairmen, as well as there were elected 70 members of the BCD National Council. The development strategy 2012-13 was adopted; the BCD will work to become a people’s party with clear message to all citizens of Belarus and strategies for development of main spheres of state, political, economic and social life.
At the BCD Congress two gatherings of the BCD related organizations took place. The congress of Young Christian Democrats elected new leaders and decided on implementing the campaign for abolition of the death penalty in Belarus. The founding meeting of Pensioners’ Union gave the start to the variety of new activities.
At the Congress the BCD also voiced the proposal of the broad democratic coalition in Belarus for the peaceful transmission of power consisting of three steps – 1. release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, 2. preparation of changes to the electoral code, registration of democratic parties and organizations, providing equal conditions for state and non-state mass media. 3. democratic and free elections and following it financial assistance from the EU and the United States for democratic reforms in Belarus.
Finally, very soon the BCD will apply for the legal registration to the Belarusian Ministry of Justice. More than thousand signatures of the BCD founders will be provided as part of registration documents. The reply from the Ministry should come within a month after the submission of the application. The BCD requests its sister parties and friends to pay close attention to the process of registration of the BCD.