Belarusian followers of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party (Nazbol) have announced that they will no longer support Alyaksandr Lukashenka, citing their disillusionment with his "authoritarian" policies.
In an interview with BelaPAN, Nazbol activist Yawhen Kontush said that the party had supported Mr. Lukashenka for pursuing a Soviet-style policy aimed at improving living standards for retirees and low-income groups. "Nazbol members supported the batska for his independent international stance, refusal to obey Western countries' dictation, intention to be in a union with Russia while keeping Belarus a sovereign country," he said.
However, he stressed, the Belarusian leader has failed to live up to the party's expectations, strengthening his grip on power and relying increasingly on the police and the Committee for State Security (KGB) for support.
According to Mr. Kontush, Belarus' activists of the National Bolshevik Party have made four unsuccessful attempts to register their organization and faced pressure from the authorities while making the most recent attempt.
"For 15 years we did not interfere with Lukashenka and waited. We waited for him to invite the people to take part in its country's fate. Today it is clear for us that he will never do so," the activist said. He noted that Nazbol activists were open to cooperation with opposition forces.
The National Bolshevik Party has been declared an extremist party and banned in Russia.