Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Liberal Democratic Party set to hold congress of patriotic European parties in Belarus next year

By Syarhey Karalevich, BelaPAN

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plans to hold a congress of patriotic parties of Europe in Belarus at the beginning of 2015, LDP First Deputy Chairman Aleh Haydukevich told BelaPAN.

Mr. Haydukevich said that invitations to participate in the congress would be sent to patriotic, center-right parties, but not to far-right organizations. The LDP already has cooperation agreements with many parties, including the Freedom Party of Austria and Frances National Front, he said. Belarusian parties that advocate Belarus sovereignty and actively defend the countrys national interests will also be welcome to participate, he said.

Mr. Haydukevich said that the congress was scheduled for the beginning of 2015 because a presidential election would be held later in the year and because the LDP did not want to be accused of trying to capitalize on the crisis in Ukraine. We hope that there will be peace and order in our neighboring country by that time, he said.

According to Mr. Haydukevich, he concluded after visiting Europe that patriotic forces were rapidly gaining ground there. He described the establishment of contacts with European parties as a priority for the Liberal Democratic Party, noting that LDP Chairman Syarhey Haydukevich would embark on a tour of Europe later in the week.

The Liberal Democratic Party is widely viewed as a sham opposition party that exists to create the appearance of multiparty democracy in Belarus.

Syarhey Haydukevich, a 59-year-old populist politician critical of both the government and opposition forces, is frequently accused of secret cooperation with Alyaksandr Lukashenka.