Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Ex-political prisoner calls on Belarusians to protest against unfair elections


Mikalai Statkevich, a 2010 presidential candidate and former political prisoner, has addressed the Belarusians who want ‘true elections’ on Facebook.

On September 12, an action in support of free and fair elections is expected to take place in Minsk in Kastrychnitskaya Square at 18:00.

“One should always fight for the things that belong to them. If something is illegally taken away from you, try to get it back. At least protest! If you don’t make a stand, they will do it again and you will lose self-respect. Something important has been taken away from you – the right to elect those in power and re-elect them,” he said.

According to him, parliamentary elections have turned into a formal ritual of making people loyal to the regime deputies.

“Another electoral farce is coming to its end. If we remain silent and swallow this abuse, the person who stole our elections, stole our freedom, will be finally sure that we are submissive cattle,” the politician says.

“One should publicly express their protest and demand fair elections. If a lot of people gather, it will show that our patience is wearing thin, that we are starting to get what was stolen from us back,” Statkevich added.

On September 11, the 2016 parliamentary election is to be held in Belarus. More than 500 candidates are running for 110 seats in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders and activists failed to get registered as candidate for parliament. For example, on August 8, the district election commission refused to register Ales Lahvinets, the deputy chairman of the Movement “For Freedom”, as candidate for the House of Representatives’ election referring to “voters’ complaints”.

In late May, Belarusianpresident Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that Belarus’ election legislation complies with international principles.