Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Opposition Candidates to Sign Agreement

After several months of consultations, the Council of the Belarusian Intelligentsia managed to persuade the majority of presidential candidates from the opposition to sign a document in which preliminary obligations are formulated, which observance is a condition for participation in the procedure of selecting the single candidate.

According to the news portal www.UDF.BY, each of the signers must guarantee that in case he is selected as the single candidate "despite the pressure by the regime and the risk for himself, do everything possible to win the presidential elections".

He also promises to form his election headquarters taking into account the wishes of the other, former, candidates, and even ensure their work at the headquarters.

In case of victory in the presidential elections, the single candidate must take a number of commitments, among which – the protection of Belarus' independence and holding of political reforms aimed at implementing the principle of real separation of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

The new president will also have to hold new parliamentary elections not later than six months after his election and to initiate system economic reforms that will allow forming "a free social market economy".

The democratically elected head of state must also "initiate establishing an equal and mutually beneficial partnership with other countries for Belarus' accession to the family of European nations".

In addition, the democratic president must support the national culture and the Belarusian language, "promote the formation of negative attitudes towards totalitarian ideologies in the Belarusian society", and "facilitate the most complete and impartial investigations into disappearances of political opponents of Lukashenka’s regime".

It should be noted that the document is not yet final, as some candidates show discontent about it. Nevertheless, the agreement has already been signed (with various qualifications) by Anatol Lyabedzka, Syargey Kalyakin, Alexander Yarashuk, Lyavon Barscheusky, Mikalay Statkevich, and Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu. Other politicians involved in the definition of a single candidate should join them within the next few days.

It is not yet clear whether the agreement will be signed by Alexander Milinkevich. The leader of the movement "For Freedom!" is currently on a tour of the United States. Earlier one of the vice chairmen of the organisation Viktar Karnyayenka told in an interview with the European Radio for Belarus that they cease consultations on a single candidate with the Council of the Intelligentsia.

"The consultations should move forward, not be at a standstill. We came and expressed our position – that we have a candidate who is the strongest and most promoted of all the opposition candidates. We have a strategy, a plan of actions, and a programme. We are ready to consider proposals of other candidates. But there aren’t any. They offer us some sort of procedure. So we stopped the consultations until there is a comprehensive proposal", said Mr. Karnyayenka.

Besides, the leader of the "European Belarus" coalition Andrei Sannikau, who is also in the U.S.A. these days, has not yet joined in "the process" of defining the single candidate.