The Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) and the United Civic Party (UCP) formally decided Wednesday to withdraw their parliamentary candidates, explaining that the election process was not transparent and democratic, and authorities were ignoring their demands to release political prisoners.
The withdrawal of its candidates will not bring any significant benefit to the party but will help it look honest and truthful in the eyes of people, BPF Chairman Alyaksey Yanukevich says in his speech at a party convention held in Minsk on Saturday.
The BPF adopted a resolution calling on the Belarusian citizens not to cast their ballots in the September 18-23 House of Representatives elections.
The UCP is withdrawing its candidates because the Belarusian authorities have met none of the three conditions that the party set for its full-scale participation in the elections, said UCP Deputy Chairman Lew Marholin. Those conditions were: the release and exoneration of all political prisoners, the transparent formation of election commissions and the absence of compulsion for citizens to vote.
In addition, the censoring of candidates’ platforms and refusals to broadcast their addresses to voters have already turned the elections into a farce, "participation in which is beneath a serious political party," Mr. Marholin said.
There are currently 364 registered candidates for the 110 seats in the House of Representatives. Of them, 38 represent the UCP and 31 represent the BPF.