Lyavon Barshchewski has decided not to run for reelection as chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), choosing instead to concentrate on preparations for the forthcoming presidential election, BPF Deputy Chairman Viktar Ivashkevich told BelaPAN.
The party is expected to elect its new leader at a convention scheduled to take place in Minsk on September 5. Mr. Ivashkevich and another deputy chairman, Alyaksey Yanukevich, have already announced their bids for the position.
At the previous convention, held in December 2007, Mr. Barshchewski was elected chairman as the result of a compromise after neither of the two candidates in the previous day’s vote, Vintsuk Vyachorka and Ales Mikhalevich, managed to gain 50 percent plus one vote.
According to Mr. Ivashkevich, at a general meeting held on June 20, BPF members voted for nominating Mr. Barshchewski as a presidential candidate, but a final decision on this matter should be made at a party convention. If the decision is favorable, Mr. Barshchewski plans to take part in the procedure of selecting a single candidate who would represent the United Pro-democratic Forces.
Mr. Ivashkevich approves these plans, while Mr. Yanukevich is opposed to the possibility of the party withdrawing its presidential candidate.