The United Civic Party (UCP) will "draw organizational conclusions" about its members who work for non-UCP presidential contenders, the party's chairman, Anatol Lyabedzka, told reporters in Minsk on Friday.
The UCP has not done anything to prevent its members from collecting ballot-access signatures for other contenders, Mr. Lyabedzka said. In fact, some UCP members gather signatures for both the party's nominee, Yaraslaw Ramanchuk, and for Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and Andrey Sannikaw as members of their nomination groups, he said.
However, the UCP Political Council has banned UCP members from working for other contenders unless they are also members of Mr. Ramanchuk's nomination group, Mr. Lyabedzka said. Those UCP activists who work solely for other hopefuls were to either quit the party or suspend their membership, he said. "This is all in line with our charter," he noted.
Although such cases are few, they should not be tolerated, Mr. Lyabedzka said.
Discipline concerns are entirely appropriate for a party that advocates European values, he said. "What if Conservatives, supporters of Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, began collecting signatures for a Social Democratic presidential contender all of a sudden? The mere idea of this would be scandalous in Lithuania. The same is true of us."