Updated at 18:44,21-03-2018

Opposition forces calling for elections boycotting


The Movement for Freedom and the "Tell the Truth!" movement have proposed that opposition parties and civil society organizations should jointly organize an "active election boycott" in one or a few electoral districts where there are no pro-democracy candidates

Although they have different approaches to participation in the current parliamentary elections, pro-democracy forces still have the opportunity to act together, the movements say in a joint statement.

"Our common and final goal is an independent, democratic and European Belarus where human rights are respected, ownership rights are guaranteed and there are all conditions for the self-realization of every citizen," the statement says. "To achieve this goal, we should use every opportunity."

The movements suggest that all Belarusians who share this strategic goal should vote for a pro-democracy candidate in their electoral districts and, if there is no such candidate, express their protest by ignoring the vote or by voting against all candidates on the ballot, and also help campaigners for a boycott.

The Movement for Freedom and the "Tell the Truth!" movement express their support for "pro-democracy activists who dared to launch a challenge against the authorities by putting forward their candidacies for election to parliament in order to increase the number of advocates of change and destroy apathy in society."

An active election boycott throughout the country is impossible in principle because "opposition forces have no experience of doing this, which is necessary to analyze the efficiency of boycott technologies," the statement says.

The use of an active boycott in one or a few electoral districts could provide "valuable experience for determining the tactics and strategy of Belarus pro-democracy forces regarding future election campaigns, including the most important one: the 2015 presidential election," the statement says.

The movements propose holding a meeting in Minsk on August 28 to discuss the issue