17 February 2019, Sunday, 13:49
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Mikalai Statkevich: We Are Starting Belarus Liberation Campaign

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MIKALAI STATKEVICH

The BNC has nominated Mikalai Statkevich as a presidential contender.

Today the Rada of the Belarusian National Congress in Minsk chose Mikalai Statkevich as a candidate from the Belarusian National Congress for the “election” of the President of Belarus.

The politician told Charter97.org what his political campaign would be like:

- First, I want to express my respect for the Belarusian National Congress, where all the most alive and best of the democratic forces of Belarus have gathered.

The BNC has representatives from all political parties. And even those whose leadership did not support the idea of creating the BNC: their regional leaders were included in our structures. All of them are bright, strong, decent, charismatic people.

Today we had an interesting and emotional discussion. And we made our decision, because we want a peaceful change. And for change in Belarus, fair elections are needed. And now we are beginning the fight for fair elections, for the social rights of people, and for the independence of our country.

To do this, we form our leadership, and I am very proud of the fact that my name has been put in the front row of this leadership. Although in reality it is the collective leadership of the Belarusian National Congress.

I think that now we will not shelve anything. Because today's decision is not only about “elections”. This is about the liberation of Belarus. And we are launching a campaign to liberate Belarus.

- What are you going to do first as a leader of this campaign and a BNC candidate at this “election”?

- Now we will form the electoral HQ and the team. I think both will be based on the BNC Rada with the right of co-optation of well-known, worthy and respected people of Belarus - professionals in various fields.

I think that we should offer the people a reform program. We must stand up for the rights of the people, even without waiting for the start of these “elections”. I mean a wide range of social and political rights, including the right to their own state and the sovereignty of the country.

Under this campaign and program we will start creating a movement for the liberation of Belarus, and the candidate’s nomination group is the ideal format for such a movement.

In the coming weeks we will begin this work. After the formal moments a nomination group will be created. This will be done both during trips and meetings in the regions where the backbone of our leadership will be formed, and with the help of the Internet - on a special, well-protected site, where anyone can join the nomination group and their data will be protected.

- What will become the basis of your program? What are you going to offer to the Belarusian voters to convince them to put their trust in you?

- In order the Belarusian voters could vote for me, and their votes would be taken into account, it is necessary to force the current regime to a real vote count. This is possible only if there is an organized, massive pressure on power.

I think that my biography says that I am capable of such actions.

We must now, without waiting for these “elections”, say that our goal is to return what has been stolen from the people. The stolen elections, the stolen years of retirement, the stolen welfare, wages, jobs, rights - everything that Lukashenka’s power has taken from the people should be returned.

- You’ve said this is important to force the authorities to change the standards of holding “elections” and to start counting votes properly. How are you going to do this?

- In Belarus, there is no other peaceful mechanism for influencing the authorities, except for mass protests. And we will widely use this method.

And now there are favorable conditions for this. When 80% of Belarusians want changes and hate the regime, it would be foolish not to give them this opportunity. People are waiting for alternatives - to unite and throw off this gang, which seized power in Belarus.

How much more popular support do you need ? It's time to win!

Here, we already have 80% of potential supporters: they just need to be organized, we need to draw their attention to us, show people that we are indeed ready to fight for them.

- What will be the main peculiarity of the upcoming political campaign on the “election” of the President of Belarus?

- Its main feature is that Lukashenka has no support at all. The dictator has long had an insignificant rating, but now he also has a huge anti-rating. I have already called this figure in 80% of supporters of change.

And if the regime this time does not make concessions on the results of the elections, tries to record another “elegant victory” for itself, then people will not tolerate it.