Belarus’s two main opposition parties said they would boycott a parliamentary election next Sunday, denouncing it as a fake exercise and are calling on people to “go fishing or visit your parents” instead. The poll for the 110-seat chamber takes place two years after police cracked down on street protests after a presidential election which installed hardline President Alexander Lukashenko for a fourth term in power. Scores of opposition activists were arrested in the December 2010 unrest and many people, including several candidates who stood against Lukashenko, were handed prison terms. “Honest people cannot take part in pseudo-elections to a fake parliament,” Anatoly Lebedko, leader of the United Civic Party, said at a weekend rally at which the party announced it was withdrawing its 38 candidates from the election. “I know I shall not be elected. And that is in no way because people will not vote for me,” said Grigoriy Kostusev, deputy head of the Belarussian People’s Front, which also opted to pull its 31 candidates out of the poll.Full Article: Go fishing on election day, Belarus opposition urges people | Reuters.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Belarus.
The Belarusian opposition is withdrawing its candidates from this weekend’s parliamentary election. The country’s election commission confirmed on Monday that the United Civic Party and the Belarusian National Front have removed the names of their candidates. The election is slated for Sunday but early voting starts on Tuesday, and people are allowed to vote early without giving any reason for it. Ballot boxes stand unguarded at polling stations for days, which observers have long described as an immense source for violations.
The head of the mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Antonio Milošoski stated that the parliamentary campaign in Belarus with the elections to take place literally in a couple of days runs with “the very low level of activity.” According to him, the mission finishes the interim report about the election campaign in Belarus.
The head of the ODIHR mission said that the report will contain information about the legal aspects of the elections, media issues, candidates’ registration and about all the rest that happened during the election campaign, reports BelaPAN. The report will be available for public on September 13th. As Antonio Milošoski noted, at the moment the mission’s representatives are still analyzing the information incoming from the ODIHR long-term observers in the regions. In the near future the information will be systemized and then presented.
Parliamentary election campaign in Belarus took off on August 23rd, as the Secretary of the Central Election Commission of Belarus Nikolai Lozovik announced. According to him, there are candidates, who got their registration certificates on August 22nd, although according to the schedule, district election commissions can issue the certificates within two days following the registration. “Parliamentary candidates that obtained the registration certificates could start campaigning for themselves literally upon exiting the building, where a meeting of the district election commission was held,” Nikolai Lozovik said. Almost all commissions had the candidates registered on August 22nd, stated the CEC Secretary, as BelTA reported.Full Article: Telegraf.by - Parliamentary election campaign took off.
Election officials in authoritarian Belarus have banned a prominent opposition leader from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. A district election commission in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, alleged Wednesday that 15 percent of supporters’ signatures Alexander Milinkevich submitted to get on the ballot were forged. Milinkevich said the decision was triggered by the “fear” of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the nation of 10 million since 1994.
Belarus: Belarusian Opposition in “Status Quo” Survival Mode | Belarus Digest – News and Analysis of Belarusian Politics, Economy, Human Rights and Myths
While the presidential election campaign of December 2010 saw a revival of dynamism and interest in the opposition in Belarus, the subsequent violent clampdown ended hope of an opening in Belarus. The opposition, rattled and weakened by these events and continued government pressure, has not been able to turn the economic crisis, mismanagement by the government and falling ratings of Alexander Lukashenka to their advantage. Instead, the opposition parties since the elections have been in “status quo” survival mode. Dependent on modest Western aid, they have been caught up primarily in their own parallel political reality. Disengaged from the wider population, they have missed opportunities such as the economic crisis to explain how their plans would positively impact individuals in society. Meanwhile, a resurgent “political middle” is now more disappointed with Lukashenka’s leadership than ever before.Full Article: Belarusian Opposition in "Status Quo" Survival Mode | Belarus Digest - News and Analysis of Belarusian Politics, Economy, Human Rights and Myths.
In September 2012, Belarusians will be asked to elect a new parliament. Opposition is still deciding whether to take part in the elections. They are not sure for a good reason – election fraud has become common practice in the country at all levels. Although Lukashenka recently announced that he would implement political reforms, no one is taking his words seriously. The regime opponents choose from two options – boycott or participation. Boycott would help to delegitimize the elections in the eyes of the international community while active participation could be used as a good opportunity to train activists and to deliver their message to the people.Full Article: 2012 Parliamentary Elections: Boycott or Participation? | Belarus Digest - News and Analysis of Belarusian Politics, Economy, Human Rights and Myths.
Around 1,000 protesters took the streets of the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on Saturday to demonstrate against the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko and his handling of the country’s worst economic crisis in years. The protesters rallied in the center of Minsk where they called on the government to halt price inflation, free political prisoners and hold free elections.
“Lukashenko has led the country into a political and economic catastrophe,” rally organizer Viktor Ivashkevich said. Minsk has sought to devalue its currency, the ruble, in order to make its exports cheaper and boost its struggling economy. The devaluation, however, has pushed up food prices. Last month, the government lifted restrictions on food prices altogether.Full Article: Protesters in Belarus call for fresh and free elections | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 08.10.2011.
Belarus: Sannikov’s Statements are Groundless says Belarus Election Commission Head Yermoshina | Telegraf.by
Head of Belarus’s Central Election Commission Lidia Yermoshina sees no legal grounds for the second round of presidential elections, while the statement of imprisoned former candidate Andrei Sannikov are baseless, as she believes. “Applications on recognizing the elections null and void shall be submitted within three days after the polling day,” she pointed out.
“But if to assume that Mr. Sannikov was in “places not so remote” at that time and was unable to apply, then such a statement was filed by one of the candidates – Mr. Kastusiou. This application was considered at the CEC meeting summing up the elections results. It was recognized groundless and consequently rejected. Mr Sannikov provides no additional facts and is unable to. Therefore, all Sannikov’s statements are a desire to draw the attention of the international community to the situation, as well as to push a criminal case in the political sphere,” said Lidia Yermoshina, reports “European Radio for Belarus.”Full Article: Telegraf.by | Sannikov's Statements are Groundless, Yermoshina.