The United Civic Party (UCP) is still discussing whether to withdraw its representatives from district and precinct election commissions for Belarus’ parliamentary elections, UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedzka told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.
According to him, only 13 of the party’s nominees were admitted to election commissions, including five to precinct commissions and seven to district ones. The UCP is considering withdrawing those admitted in protest of denials of membership on election commissions for many other representatives of the party, Mr. Lyabedzka said.
"We are discussing two approaches," he said. "The first one, proposed by our activists, is radical. It is that ‘speakers’ [the party’s parliamentary candidates] should withdraw from the race at the party’s convention on September 15 and then we should immediately withdraw our members on election commissions. The other, ‘half-way’ approach is that we should withdraw out commission members only in the districts where we do not have registered ‘speakers’ and should not do this in the districts where we have registered candidates."
According to Mr. Lyabedzka, both the UCP members on election commissions and the party’s election observers should concentrate their efforts on monitoring how many people really cast their ballots. "The real voter turnout is the only matter of interest to us, because we work for it to be below 50 percent," he said.
He noted that the UCP would assess its performance regarding the current election campaign under three criteria of success. "The first one is that if only 30 or 40 percent, not 70 percent as in 2008, say that the elections were relatively fair, this will mean our success," Mr. Lyabedzka said. "The second one is that the voter turnout should be below 50 percent where we have the opportunity to monitor it. And the third one is that pollsters should find that people’s support for our campaign for ‘fair elections without Lukashenka’ is at a level of 20 to 25 percent."