Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Four opposition groups launch campaign aimed at mobilizing civil society during presidential race

Four opposition groups on November 12 launched a campaign aimed at mobilizing civil society during the presidential race.

Called "Citizen," the campaign involves the Belarusian Party of the Greens, and groups called the Movement of the Future, Volnaya Moladz (Free Youth) and the Association of Belarusian Students.

"The campaign manifesto says that the citizens of Belarus are the government's employers because the government lives off the taxpayers," Volnaya Moladz leader Mikita Krasnow said at Friday’s launch meeting at Hotel Crowne Plaza Minsk. "The fulfillment of its promises should be under public supervision."

Such supervision is necessary over both the current government and the one that may come to replace it, Mr. Krasnow said.

Although staging protests against ballot-rigging is not one of the official purposes of the campaign, it is up to every citizen to decide whether to participate in them, he said.

The campaign is not a coalition of political forces but a union of people who care about the fate of their country, he stressed.

The campaigners will soon hold a number of events to mobilize civil society, Mr. Krasnow said. They will act in close cooperation with presidential candidates, who will find it easier to organize meetings with citizens, he noted.

The campaigners plan to maintain a strong online presence and have already begun developing a website, he said.