The Day of Power Change in Belarus will become a national holiday.
The Belarusian regions have become the real discovery of the current political campaign. Images from solidarity actions that took place in dozens of cities, not only covered the whole Belarus but also made the whole world watch the situation in our country.
How has the Belarusian society changed? Slonim's activist of the European Belarus civil campaign, Viktar Marchyk, discussed it with Charter97.org.
- The changes among Belarusians revealed themselves especially strong when people started to take part in mass pickets to collect signatures and then protest and solidarity actions. Previously, almost the same people supported such meetings. Young people had little interest in political life, but now I see many new participants.
These people need no explanations. They understand everything and know what is going on in the country. They realize that this life is unacceptable. I am glad to see Belarusians awakening. They see if Lukashenka remains in power, it will only get worse.
- What has triggered the changes in the country?
- It's the coronavirus epidemic. People are still dying from it. The problem is still acute, although the authorities say that the disease rate is declining. According to my information, the superiors instruct to discharge people from hospitals more quickly. Even those who are confirmed with COVID-19. This is how the Belarusian authorities improve the statistics.
I have also faced this problem. It's the third day I've been having a fever. I would like to be tested for coronavirus because I have been in contact with many people. At this stage, no one is going to give me a coronavirus test. What if I have COVID-19? Will the people I've had contact with continue to spread the infection? That's a very disturbing approach. As I understand it, the Minister of Health orders not to make tests. I think it's the direct instruction of Lukashenka.
Such actions of the authorities have pushed people into politics. Yes, now the Belarusians have taken a short pause, people are waiting who will be registered and who will not. When the agitation campaign starts, everything will return to its normal course. Belarusians will take to the streets again, express their opinion and show by all their actions that they are against this government and the system. If someone believes the campaign is over, this is wrong.
- Who of potential candidates in your city used to gather the longest lines at pickets?
- Country for Life by Siarhei Tsikhanouski made up the longest lines. Babaryka did not arrive but his group was collecting signatures. Tsepkala also arrived but fewer people came to sign for him. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya remains the leader. There were no pickets for Mr. Lukashenka who shows off millions of signatures.
- Many people note that the regions are increasingly dissatisfied with Lukashenka. What is his rating in your city?
- I think it's even lower than three per cent everyone is talking about. If there is an opportunity to meet with Lukashenka, I would like to wonder whether he believes that two million people have signed for him? I think he realises that it's all a lie. His ratings are bloated and his system is a house of cards that is about to face a storm. The best way for him today is to withdraw his candidacy.
- The Belarusians have proved they cope easily without the help of the authorities. Does Lukashenka exist for Belarusians?
- No. The power is weak, helpless and rotten. How can it help people? The recent problem with water in Minsk should be easily solved, but it has turned into a real disaster! Volunteers and people of good will fixed the situation. Otherwise, there would have been a disaster. The same situation is with COVID-19. If Belarusians hadn't shown solidarity, the number of victims would have been many times greater!
Current events mark the last days of this regime. The game is over.
People are so reluctant to see him in the chair that they flood the streets of cities. The scenario when people resent for a bit and them come down will not happen again. Belarusians will protest, stand up for their choice. There is a lull in the campaign, but people are active on flash mobs. Someone hangs up flags, turns on the music, puts their IDs on the Web and shows that they are on the side of the people. The activity is still on. People see they make up the majority, they enjoyed the taste of freedom and now it is not possible to "drive them into the box".
- How will the change of power in Belarus occur?
- I can only share my forecast. I think it will happen peacefully, and the day of the power change will become a national holiday in Belarus. After all, many countries have Statehood Restoration Day. When the country belongs to us again, we may also have such a holiday.