Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

Opposition Communists will take part in presidential primaries if other parties join in

26-10-2009, 11:51

The Belarusian Party of Communists (BPC) will take part in opposition-organized presidential primaries if other political organizations are involved, Chairman Syarhey Kalyakin said in an interview with BelaPAN.

"I don’t see so far other political organizations’ strong desire to participate in the procedure. Parties have been delaying their decision on participation in the primaries," he said.

Mr. Kalyakin noted that many political forces were afraid of their candidate’s defeat in the primaries. "Apart from this, they [the primaries] would show whether opposition views are interesting to the public. In addition, many fear that Belarus’ pro-democratic forces would not be able to organize the procedure on a proper level altogether," he said.

The coalition announced last month that the registration process for those seeking nomination as its single presidential candidate through a series of primaries was to last from October through February 2010.

The registered contenders would be able to conduct their nomination campaigns between October 2009 and April 2010 and voting would take place between April 2 and May 2 inclusive. Votes in the primaries would be cast at least four times a week and any citizen would be allowed to take part.

At least 100,000 people are to participate in the primaries for their results to be valid. If no one won more than 30 percent of the vote, the two leading contenders would go into a runoff. The person with the most votes would otherwise be declared the winner.

The next presidential election is to be held in Belarus in early 2011.