The United Civic Party (UCP)’s convention on March 21 voted 66 to 37 with five abstentions for the party to withdraw from the 2010 local elections campaign.
However, this political decision of the party would not mean that the UCP would withdraw its members from election commissions and the UCP representatives among contenders for local soviets would withdraw from the race, UCP Deputy Chairman Lew Marholin said before the vote.
It is up to the contenders to decide whether or not to pull out, Mr. Marholin said.
The convention called on political parties and non-governmental organizations to join the UCP in withdrawing from the election process.
The UCP Political Council was tasked with explaining the party’s decision to the international community and, in the first instance, to the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Long before the beginning of the local elections campaign, the UCP put forward its demands for elections to be viewed as free and fair, but those demands were ignored by the authorities and the party should withdraw as an organization, as it should be consistent in its steps, said UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedzka.
At the same time, the party should not "do harm" to the UCP contenders, especially those who sought registration as candidates though the collection of ballot-access signatures and are "ready to see it through to the end, feeling the support of people," Mr. Lyabedzka said.