Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

UCP confirms intention to withdraw candidates

The United Civic Party (UCP) has not abandoned its intention to withdraw all its candidates before the vote in the House of Representatives elections, UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedzka told reporters in Minsk on Thursday.

"I think we do not give a reason to be accused of playing a game regarding our decision to participate in the elections and withdraw candidates," he said.

Mr. Lyabedzka said that the party had set three conditions for its full-scale participation in the elections, including the release of all political prisoners, the admission of the partys representatives to election commissions, and the abolition of or strict restrictions on early voting. "The authorities have met none of these conditions even partially," he noted.

According to Mr. Lyabedzka, the UCP is beginning the stage of an active election boycott. In particular, the party will focus on its candidates television and radio appearances. However, he said that authorities might partially or totally edit the candidates pre-recorded addresses.

The UCP plans to convene a party conference on September 15 to consider withdrawing its candidates from the elections.