Leaders of Oppositional Parties State: This Election Campaign Is Unprecedented In Level of Law Violations
Anatol Liabedzka, leader of the United Civil Party, noted that he had not seen such open defiance of electoral regulations since Aliaksandr Lukashenka came to power in 1994. According to Mr. Liabedzka, 16 candidates of the party in Minsk could not print their campaign leaflets in either state or private printing houses. ‘Such things didn`t happen even during the presidential campaign,’ he said. Pro-democratic forces should inform the voters about all law violations during this election campaign, Mr. Liabedzka suggested.
Viktar Karniienka, an aide to Aliaksandr Milinkevich, said that pro-democratic candidates ‘should not fall before a shot’. However, he noted that the candidates might be withdrawn from the race after they used all campaigning opportunities in their status.
The chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada, Stanislau Shushkevich, stressed that his party had always believed that ‘nothing would come out of these elections’.
’There were not and will not be any illusions about these elections’, said Vintsuk Viachorka, chairman of the Belarusian People’s Front (BPF). He noted that the BPF would use the remaining two days of the campaigning stage to inform the population about the Belarusian-Russian ‘gas war’ as the main threat to Belarus` independence. He said that this should be the only subject at meetings with voters. ‘All the rest is nothing in comparison with this problem’, said Mr. Viachorka.
Alena Skruhan, secretary of the Central Committee of the Party of Communists of Belarus, said that the PCB candidates who had withdrawn from the race continued to take part in the campaign by canvassing voters door-to-door and explaining why the party had recommended its members not to run in the elections. According to her, some 30 members of the party still remain candidates.
Anatol Liaukovich, acting chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada, said that his party regards these elections as a technical matter.
’The outcome of the local elections is obvious, but we’ll use them to recruit new supporters’, said Viktar Harbachou, a leader of a small business owners’ association. According to him, 47 members of the association are running in the elections.