Parliamentary candidates supported by the “Tell the Truth!” movement, including nominees who were denied registration as candidates, voted 19 to four against pulling out from the race for seats in the House of Representatives during a Skype conference on Monday.
"Once we have engaged, we should go to the final," said Ihar Maslowski, a candidate in an electoral district in Brest. "People say that otherwise there will be no alternative to pro-government candidates."
"Voters welcomed our proposals and gave their consent to us representing them in the parliament," said Alyaksandr Mikulin, a candidate in Vitsyebsk. "The collection of ballot-access signatures showed that people trusted neither the government nor existing opposition organizations, but they put their trust in us. That is why we should continue to participate in the elections, especially if we compete against pro-government candidates."
"Although there are no elections in the country and votes will not in fact be counted, it is important for us to continue field work to increase the recognizability of new leaders and promote the ideas of the ‘Tell the Truth!’ movement," said Dzmitry Bandarchuk, a candidate in Hrodna. "That is why I believe it is necessary to consistently carry out our plan of action, as a significant part of voters will familiarize with candidates on the main polling day."
Syarhey Parsyukevich, a nominee who was denied access to the ballot in an electoral district in Vitsyebsk, argued that it did not make sense to continue participating in this "farce.""Our withdrawal would show our stance and therefore you, registered candidates, should not mislead both yourselves and people. I believe it is time to pull out." The leadership of the "Tell the Truth!" movement did not take pat in the vote.
The Belarusian Popular Front and the United Civic Party decided on Saturday that their candidates should withdraw from the parliamentary race.