Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Opposition fails to agree on single candidate for 2015 presidential election

Belarus in focus

Consultations among seven leading democratic organisations about holding the Congress of Democratic Forces (CDF) and electing a single opposition candidate have failed – two participants in the negotiations, the United Civic Party and the leftist "Fair World", have refused to sign a CDF agreement.

These two parties have refused to participate in the CDF process due to the low level of mutual trust between the opposition leaders; scarce resources for the presidential campaign; the lack of an overall strategy; and the lack of hope that democratic transformation will take place in Belarus during the presidential elections in 2015. Amid high support ratings of the incumbent president and the protracted crisis in Ukraine, opposition leaders primarily need to preserve their organisational structures and influence among the opposition. A repeat of the 2010 presidential campaign scenario is likely, with several opposition politicians running for president in an effort to promote and strengthen their organisations.