Belarusian authorities want two things: their legalisation and collapse of democratic coalition – Vital Rymasheuski

03 лютага 2012 15:10  |  News

On 31 January 2012 the “coalition of the six” opposition groups failed to sign a joint action plan for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Belarus. The agreement was not signed, since two out of six subjects refused to do so. These are the “Just World” Party and the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party. The “coalition of the six” included the Belarusian Popular Front, the United Civil Party, the Party of the Left “Just World,” the officially unregistered party “Belarusian Christian Democracy,” the Movement “For Freedom,” as well as the civil campaign “Tell the Truth!”

The BCD co-chairman Vital Rymasheuski explained that “five minutes before the press conference, the Movement “For Freedom “presented a new text of the common declaration.” Mr. Rymasheuski considers this unacceptable providing that the new text of the Declaration “has not been agreed with several actors, in particular, the text has not previously been presented to the BCD.”

During the past few weeks the coalition worked on creating the overall strategy of the opposition for the so-called “election” campaign in 2012. The Declaration text given to the journalists on 31 January was presented a few weeks ago by the Movement “For Freedom” of Alexander Milinkevich. The BCD could not sign this text as presented as it presupposes the nomination of candidates for the elections when the political prisoners are still in jail; other conditions for free elections, which were signed by representatives of six political entities in summer 2011, were ignored completely.

Actually the proposed version suggests that the opposition should participate in the elections together with the executive election committees of the regime in order to mobilize the Belarusians for the elections. It also includes the promise that the opposition candidates will withdraw their nominations shortly before the election day. If the opposition candidates will participate in the campaign and withdraw a few days before the election, the commissions will not even need to falsify the results. The turnout will be provided, the needed candidates will be on the voting lists. The votes can be counted safely.  It is a gift to Lukashenko.

The BCD could not accept such obvious pro-Lukashenko plan. The declaration called for improvements.  Therefore within two weeks a new joint position was developed. It consisted of call to not to recognize the election, even if some candidates from the opposition would be “appointed” to the Parliament, to hold joint meetings with democratic activists across the country and to develop a common format for the campaign of 2012. At the same time, it was agreed to hold a joint information campaign on the situation of the political prisoners and to formulate joint demands to the authorities.

The text was adopted unanimously at the meetings and without any comments from the “For Freedom” Movement or “Tell the Truth” campaign. This text should have been announced at a joint press conference.  However, before the press conference other text was distributed to the journalists, which included the previous proposal of the “For Freedom” Movement.

It is likely that the leaders of some organisations were simply afraid that their regional activists will vote for a boycott. It is absolutely unclear why they wanted to present the new text at the press conference as a joint text of the coalition.

It is the right of each organization to sign any sorts of agreements and to make joint statements. Everyone also has the right to evaluate these agreements.
The whole situation looks quite funny: there was an unsuccessful attempt to provoke a fight and initiate the discussion of this fact in the yellow press. Was there an intention to distract attention from the core issue – the legalization of the regime by the Belarusian opposition? If yes, they succeeded only for a short time. 

Scandals and the collapse of the coalition is beneficial to some opposition leaders only tactically, strategically wins only the regime. “

Vital Rymasheuski underlined: the position of the BCD is that “we cannot participate in the elections if there are political prisoners”.

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