Uladzimir Niakliayeu and Andrei Sannikau are going to oppose rigging of election together
On 12 November the
potential candidates for the presidential position Uladzimir Niakliayeu and
Andrei Sannikau held a joint press conference in Minsk. They announced about
cooperation and coordination of their activities.
A powerful push towards the decision to unite their forces was given by the joint picket for collection of signatures near the HUM department store in the center of Minsk and the ‘vox populi’: people willingly signed for the both of them and many of them advised them to unite. However, the leaders of the civil campaigns Speak Truth! and European Belarus! didn’t reveal the details of their agreements despite all attempts of the journalists to find about it.
They called the non-democratic nature of the present election as one of the main reasons for their decision. Uladzimir Niakliayeu called the ‘square’ and the responsibility for it as the ‘only platform’ for the possible agreements with other candidates. ‘I think you understand that I don’t mean any concrete place – the Kastrychnitskaya or the Kalinouski Square, - I mean it as peaceful protest against the rigging of the election, that has already started,’ he added. Mr. Niakliayeu stated that ‘even today this election can be called and considered as not free and unfair’ and reminded: ‘At present we have no access to mass media. We don’t have a comprehensible answer except for ‘No, no, no, we don’t need it!’ to our demands concerning the observation of the election and the counting of the poll. Everything is preserved in the format of the previous elections. It means that a real election is not provided for.’
Mr. Niakliayeu outlined the priorities, both his own ones and that of Andrei Sannikau. ‘We want the people to come and vote, and want to know, how many of them came to the polling stations and for whom they cast their votes’.
Enumerating the spheres that were covered by the cooperation agreement, Andrei Sannikau called the joint ‘struggle against the rigging of the election’ first of all. According to him, this includes the resistance to unlawful actions of the authorities, joint informational and canvassing activities in the Belarusian regions and international meetings. A.Sannikau pointed that ‘the time has come to follow the orders of the electorate’ who ask the opposition leaders to consolidate their forces.
Answering the question of the journalists whether the politicians weren’t afraid of accusations in creation of a ‘pro-Russian block’, Mr. Sannikau answered: ‘If we hear voices in support of Lukashenka coming from Europe and voices in support of the opposition coming from Russia, we need to take it into account’. ‘We will support those who really stands for the protection of democracy, independence and human rights,’ pointed the leader of European Belarus.
U.Niakliayeu added that ‘Russia says that it is concerned with the fate of our missing politicians’ and ‘the way the election will be conducted’. He reminded that this time the eastern neighbor plans to send to the elections ‘not tipplers, but observers’ who promise to coordinate their activities with the western and the independent Belarusian observers. As stated by Mr. Sannikau, they expect just one thing from the OSCE observers (whose arrival in Belarus almost coincided with the press conference) – objective and hones observation.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections