Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

"People don't believe anything will change in Belarus"

14-08-2012, 12:10

People will not go to the polls in September because they do not believe than elections can change anything in Belarus, Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, chairman of the "Tell the Truth!" movement, told reporters in Minsk on Monday.

The first thing that meets the eye is how indifferent people are to the House of Representatives elections, he said.

When people see the movement's signature collector at their door, they assume that he represents a pro-government contender and begin to talk only when they realize they are wrong, Mr. Nyaklyayew said.

People may agree to give their signatures in support of the contender's registration, but they do not believe that anything will change in Belarus any time soon, he said.

By contrast with the 2010 presidential election, people see themselves not as voters but as passport holders whose signatures are needed as a mere formality, said Mr. Nyaklyayew, who ran for President in 2010.

"That is why we're taking an active part in the elections," he said. "We've decided to participate in these elections to restore people's faith that something may change in the country."

The parliamentary elections are a preparatory stage for the 2015 presidential election and have already allowed the contenders supported by the "Tell the Truth!" movement to become local leaders, Mr. Nyaklyayew said.