Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Minsk Regional Branch Suggests Reforming United Civic Party

The Minsk regional branch of the United Civic Party (UCP) has suggested reforming the party.
In particular, the UCP should be more pragmatic in its work with both voters and its own members, the regional branch says in a statement adopted at its general meeting on Sunday.


The numerous failures suffered by the opposition in general and the UPC in particular during all recent election campaigns were, to a great extent, the result of their reluctance and inability to work with voters and express their concerns, the statement says.

Certainly, the imperfection of electoral regulations and the reluctance of authorities to hold free and fair elections also have a significant influence on the election process, the statement says. However, while UCP candidates cannot win in the reports of election commissions, it is quite possible to win in the hearts and minds of voters, the statement says.

Instead of trying to force people to adopt the party's views, it is necessary to raise pressing issues, such as high prices, utility bills and taxes and low salaries, wages and pensions, it says.

These problems should be central to the party's election platform, and it is necessary to show that "there is a strong team" capable of solving them, the statement says.

The party’s problem is that it has a large number of so-called sleeping members, UCP activist Syarhey Balykin told BelaPAN.

Among those "sleepers," there are many prominent figures, including those who were or remain government officials, Mr. Balykin said. "In order to encourage them to work actively, we should shed the image of professional revolutionaries," he said. "We should position ourselves as skillful managers who are ready to lead the country out of the economic crisis."