The Central Election Commission of Belarus has issued an official warning to the united opposition’s candidate for presidency Alyaksandr Milinkevich that it is illegal to carry out pre-term election propaganda. It was said on December 27 at the CEC session on registration of initiative groups of prospective candidates.
A campaign for collecting signatures in support of candidates for the presidential position starts on December 29. It is to last until January 27. “A member of an initiative group who collects signatures is required to have a certificate, confirming that he is a member of an initiative group for nomination of that candidate,” Lidziya Yarmoshyna, the CEC chairperson explained.
Belarus is on the verge of great events. Presidential election to take place in March. Alyaksandr Lukashenka runs for presidency for the third time, and perhaps wants to rule the country eternally. Who will stop him? What would be the actions of the opposition when the vote results would be rigged? What would change in the life of the Belarusians, when democrats come to power? You can ask these and other questions online to the candidate of the Belarusian opposition Alyaksandr Milinkevich. The conversation is to take place today, December 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the site www.milinkevich.org
Today the head of the Administration of president Lukashenka, Viktar Shejman, has sent in his resignation, as he had become the head of the initiative group for collecting signatures in support A. Lukashenka’s nomination as a candidate for presidency. That has been announced by the Central Election Committee chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna at the session of the CEC today.
The authorities of Belarus have scheduled the election on March 19 on purpose, in order to avoid pressure by “orange” forces in Ukraine. It was stated by the deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on International Affairs Ihor Ostash at a press conference in Kyiv, the “Novyj Region” informs. “The next presidential elections in Belarus will take place a week before the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. It is possible that the Belarusian election date, March 19, has been chosen in order to minimize participation of Ukrainian society, which is to be engaged in own parliamentary elections,” Mr Ostash believes. The MP also expressed confidence that “the Belarusian elections would be held with due account for the Orange Revolution experience”.
The Central Election Committee has registered all eight initiative groups for nomination of the candidates for presidency of Belarus. The applications to the CEC have been submitted by the democratic forces candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the leader of the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian People’s Front Zyanon Paznyak, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Syarhei Hajdukevich, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, ex-speaker of the “council of republic” Alyaksandr Vajtovich, a former deputy Valery Fralou, the leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hramada” Alyaksadnr Kazulin and a former deputy Syarhei Skrabets, who is on remand at the moment.
An initiative group for nomination of the leader of democratic forces Alyaksadnr Milinkevich as a candidate for presidency has been registered. All 5,136 persons who stated their intention to gather signatures in support of the democratic opposition’s candidate for presidency, were registered. The press-center of the Charter’97 has been informed about that by a press-secretary of the headquarters of the democratic forces Syarhei Vaznyak. Tomorrow Alyaksandr Milinkevich is to hold press-conference.
The trial over the opposition activist, former deputy and the leader of the parliamentary group “Respublika” Syarhei Skrabets (Skrebets) is to start on January 16 in the Supreme Court. The Charter’97 press center was informed about that by Alyaksandr Skrabets, the brother of the political prisoner.
On December 25 the leader of the All-National Strike Committee of Vendors Valery Levaneuski started a hunger strike. As the Radio Svaboda informs, the family of Levaneuski was informed about that by a man who serves a sentence in Ivatsevichy colony together with him.
Beginning in less than a week, organizing anti-government protests in Belarus will be a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison. In a sense, this is a marked improvement for demonstrators: being detained is presumably preferable to being shot at, which the police has also been authorized to do.
On December 26 in the evening border guards detained three activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus (UPB), an organization which is not recognized by the authorities. It had happened while they neared the settlement of Sapotskin, Hrodna region.
On December 26 a businessman Mikalay Autukhovich was visited by his lawyer Halina Ivanova in the republican prison hospital. The lawyer said to the Radio Svaboda that the entrepreneur continues hunger strike, started 73 days ago, and is not going to stop it.
The leadership of the council of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Associations and Communities has expressed indignation over the content of the book “Stalin’s Testament”, and does not exclude that they could lodge a complaint against its author Eduard Skobeleu (Skobelev). The members of the council have sent the corresponding statement to the media on December 26.