(Updated) The protest candidates have held an authorized signature-collection picket.
Narodnaya Hramada party leader Mikalai Statkevich and wife of video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya held a picket to collect signatures near the Kamarouski market in Minsk yesterday, the Belsat TV channel reports.
16.00 The people were standing in queues for several hours to sign.
The overwhelming majority of those who had come to put their signatures were wearing masks. They were encouraged to keep their distance.
Siarhei Tsikhanouski noted that he and many other members of his wife Sviatlana's initiative group had not been granted the IG member's documents until May 23, having issued them later than to the other candidates.
According to Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Belarus should be a sovereign and independent country, which is supposed to be friends with all its neighbors. According to him, the current head is a pro-Russian candidate in Belarus. The blogger also noted that he has doubts about some other candidates.
Siarhei Tsikhanouski noted that there's no need to talk about what can separate the Belarusians (language, flag, etc.). He said it should be decided by the parliament later. In the meantime, according to the blogger, the main goal is to change the regime.
"Fair elections are when candidate L. is not participating, and the borshch-maker is not counting," - Siarhei Tsikhanouski stated.
He urged people to become observers, but not to participate in voting. According to him, Belarusians should get rid of fear, as Belarus needs changes already this year, he said.
On Monday, May 25, Siarhei Tsikhanouski is going to Slutsk, where members of his wife's initiative group have been detained. According to him, about 20 more protocols for meetings in different towns in Belarus are still awaiting him.
He believes that he will be detained again on the eve of Election Day, so that he couldn't hold protests. For now the blogger is going to visit other cities of Belarus, he said in the comment to belsat.eu.
Some of the participants had brought slippers and dichlorophos as a symbol of "Stop Cockroach" campaign. The queue to put the signatures stretched from the entrance to Kamarouski market to the entrance to the Yakub Kolas Square metro station. People greeted the arrival of video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski with applause. He said that he did not expect such support from people.
The blogger explained his non-registration and detention by the fear of the authorities and the police - "they are all afraid".
"Belarusians, there are about 9 million of us. But one person keeps us in fear. Let's change this already. Stop the cockroach!" - Siarhei Tsikhanouski said.
A huge queue stretched to the table, where signatures for the wife of video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Sviatlana, were collected. People from other cities had come to put the signatures. At the same time, a lot of people do not believe in the fairness of the election and declare the need for change.
"Protest candidate" Veranika Mishchanka, who had been denied registration of the initiative group, noted that the events in Belarus had already been called "slipper revolution". She noted that the upcoming elections should be turned into a farce.
Statkevich urged to come to the Supreme Court, which would consider the appeal against the non-registration of his initiative group.
Co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy and potential candidate Volha Kavalkova joined the event. She urged those meeting participants who were in favor of Lukashenka's resignation to raise their hands.
"It's impossible to tolerate the dictatorship that we see every day," - the politician said.
"Protest candidate" Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh urged people not to go to the polling stations, but to go to the square in case of falsifications. He suggested appointing Aliaksandr Lukashenka captain or coach of a hockey team - "as he wishes".
"Lukashenka got there - so that pensioners would vote for him. Now he does not need pensioners. He wants them to stay as few as possible," - he said.
Statkevich said the purpose of the event was to discuss what the Belarusian people, "driven to the edge of the abyss," should do.
Video blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, husband of presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, was present at the rally.
Protesters were shouting "Long Live Belarus!" and demanding Lukashenka's resignation.
"We are fed up with him already," - a rally participant from Babruisk said.
"Now Belarusians have more than enough reasons to protest. People have realized that it's simply impossible to change the situation due to participating in voting. Now, the will of the people is massively falsified, so the only opportunity to express their disagreement with the current situation is to go to mass events. The authorities will understand only mass protest. In addition, the authorities are forced to allow people to express their disagreement during the election campaign," - Statkevich told Belsat.