19 January 2018, Friday, 10:22

David Kramer: Anything may cause dictatorship's collapse


It may be elections, ill-treatment of people or external events.

The Belarusian opposition should be united to express their political programme, but the unity should be sincere, because the imitation will only lead to the crisis of the alternative governance. The Belarusian opposition leaders should draw right conclusions from the activity of the Czech Charter 77 movement and use its experience in the Belarusian reality.

President of the National Endowment for Democracy Carl Gershman and president of Freedom House David Kramer summed up the results of the open discussion “Toward Democracy in Belarus: Charter 77 Heritage”, the Russian service of Voice of America reports.

Carl Gershman drew attention to the words of former Czech ambassador to the US Martin Palous about The Parallel Polis essay written by Vaclav Benda in the late 1970s. Charter 77 members doubted whether they should struggle for fundamental human rights or present an alternative political programme. Benda suggested creating alternative institutions, such as Charter 77, which became a school of democracy, where people gathered and learnt how to create civil society,  the president of the National Endowment for Democracy said.

Carl Gershman emphasised the discussion was useful for modern Belarus, because the people of the country should understand they need to be involved in political, economic, social, civil, educational and other processes.

David Kramer stressed the Belarusian opposition should be ready for any unexpected things that can bring the Lukashenka regime down.

The opposition should be consolidated, but any artificial unity will not last long, David Kramer notes. The opposition should be ready for any unexpected things, because one never knows what can bring the regime down – elections, ill-treatment or external events that have a direct impact of processes inside the country. The Freedom House president is confident the preparation for the time after Lukashenka has never been so important.

In David Kramer's opinion, providing Belarusians with objective information about the events in the country is among main goals.

He called not to forget that Lukashenka's government controlled all information flows, so most Belarusians hear only filtered news presenting Lukashenka in the most favourable light and tarnishing the West by calling it an enemy that wants to harm the people of Belarus. He emphasised the importance of providing Belarus with objective information to let all people in the country, not only young people and those living in Minsk, know that the problem lies with their leader and the West only tries to help them to free themselves from his rule.