On 19 December it is second anniversary of the Square protest.
Radio Svaboda is questioning the presidential candidates 2010: about the lessons of the previous campaign and the upcoming 2015 elections. The leader of the European Belarus civic campaign and former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau answered the radio’s questions.
- What are the main lesson of the elections 2010 for you?
- I would single out two lessons of that campaign. First, if I can say so, - is the emotional lesson. It is that I felt huge support of the people, who want changes in the country and crave for freedom. It could be observed at stage of signature collection, as well as during the meetings with people all around Belarus, also in the square on 19 December 2010, where people felt freedom and united in freedom. The second lesson is political. It is what was clear on 19 December and what is seen today, that there must have been the second round. I made it to the second round, but it was the success of the work of all the independent candidates and their teams. And it is exactly that what caused the hysteria, which is still in place on the part of the authorities.
- Are you going to run for president in 2015?
- What elections can we talk about? The final period was put there in Belarusian elections in 2010. There is no such an institute in our country with the dictatorship of Lukashenka and the people realized that. That is why people did not come and participate in the electoral farce, the so-called parliamentary elections in September this year. And that this date, this 2015 year, is attempted to be imposed in the society – it is done by the regime in order to distract the attention from today’s problem, like there are no more important problems in Belarus’ political life. But they exist and they are connected exactly with the existence of the dictatorial regime in Belarus. The last remaining human rights and freedoms disappear, villages are being burnt, and the serfdom comes back to Belarus. These are the problems of today, but not the year of 2015. And the regime, which rules in Belarus, it is dangerous for its people.
- What advice would you give the opposition candidate at 2015 elections?
- I would like to tell the opposition leaders and all the citizens of Belarus that we need to preserve what we experienced on 19 December 2010 during the Square protest. By the way, it was the strongest resistance action in the latest years. I am proud that I was in the Square, and I am proud that I was there with you, I would want to thanks all the people, who supported us, who also were there in the Square. What happened next, when I was in prison, it is also a tool for resistance – it is solidarity. That is exactly what is needed today, it is needed in order to save, release the political prisoners we must help the families of the political prisoners. And it is exactly due to solidarity, I am sure, that changes will soon happen in Belarus. Long live Belarus!