Pro-Democratic Candidate in Brest Drops Out of the Race
Anatol Yarmak, activist of the “For Freedom” movement and member of BPF, ran to Brest city council. However, the authorities forced him to drop out of the race. Mr. Yarmak is an engineer at BELS furniture-production company. He told the reporter of Dzedzich Week News: “The company director many times told me that “he had a conversation about me with city officials”. He reminded me about my participation in the political life of the country: the fact that Alexander Milinkevich gathered signatures for me, and that I was fined 930, 000 BYR (about $ 450) for participation in a political flash mob. He didn’t threaten me with dismissal but insisted that I should drop out of the election race”.
Dzmitry Shymanski, head of Brest city organization of BPF Party comments: “I understand him. Anatol was forced to make a choice between having job and participating in the election. It is very difficult to find a good job. Unfortunately, the democratic forces are not able to provide for the families of all people who are fired. This is a problem. Moreover, the people who continue to fight despite the fear of the repression deserve much respect. In the conditions of farce elections, when we know that the votes will not be counted, the illusory hope to receive a seat in the council is not worth risking one’s career. I am sure Anatol will contribute a lot more to the democratic movement if he does not worry about surviving without a job. No doubt he will continue to take part in opposition activities”.
Anatol Yarmak’s case is just an example of the pressure on the activists of the United Democratic Forces. Recently UCP member Yury Batsuk dropped out of the election race because of the threats that he would lose his job.
Head of the company which employed pro-democratic activist Andrei Liubianchuk, received numerous phone calls from the municipality with the “insistent request” to fire him. However, Andrei Liubianchuk told his boss that his political activity does not interfere with his work, that’s why he would continue to run in the election.
At present 6 BPF members in Brest region run for Brest city council: Yury Ahiyevich, Yauhen Bialasin, Viktar Kalinouski, Vitaly Koush, Uladzimir Krasko, and Dzmitry Lazarau.