UCP chooses active boycott
The United Civil Party members have gathered 52,158 signatures, according to its leader Anatol Liabedzka, which is not enough for his registration as a presidential candidate. However, the party is not going to leave the campaign.
As soon as the ‘time of silence’ is over, Anatol Liabedzka promises to stage pickets in order to collect signatures in support of his social program entitled “One Million Jobs”, as well as to demand the resignation of the government and the head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna.
“We did not have an end in itself to collect 100,000 signatures, but would not mind if it happened,” said Anatol Liabedzka at a press conference on the results of the election phase. “So far, we have only lost airtime on the state radio and television, but we will continue to work with the voters. Now there is a sheer crisis and degradation of Lukashenka and Yarmoshyna’s election model. The campaign has documented the division in the opposition between those who believe that they can fit in the existing system and those who want to change the system. We believe that one cannot be integrated in such a system without becoming a part of it. The best result is empty polling stations. Only this can stimulate the power to change the rules of the game before the next parliamentary campaign.”
The UCP has for the first time ever formed its nomination group taking advantage of the opportunities of social networks. About 1,000 people joined the nomination campaign of Anatol Liabedzka.
“The door-to-door method of collecting signatures did not work. This is primarily due to the summer, when people are actually away, but sometimes they just won’t open the door. If in the previous election, our volunteers collected 30-50 signatures during the evening, then this year – only 10-12,” says Viktar Karniyenka, head of Liabedzka’s nomination group. “Another method, which we had hoped should work, has not brought results, either: collecting signatures outside major enterprises. We had hoped that people who were going to lose their jobs would be more active, but it is obvious that people are in despair.”
The error of the campaign is a lack of work in small towns, where the opposition to the existing regime is much greater than in the capital. A positive moment of the signature collection stage was working with individual entrepreneurs who were interested in the economic program of the UCP leader. The party will continue to work with this target audience, says Viktar Karniyenka.
The UCP has nominated 187 members to the precinct election commissions, not focusing on quantity but on quality, choosing experienced and decent people.
“Let's see what the election commissions and the authorities will say to that. If our people are not included in the commissions, then it will be clear that the authorities continue to falsify the election results,” says UCP member Antanina Kavaliova.