Updated at 00:16,23-05-2018

Yanukevich: People who protest now are worthy of respect

Klim Haletsky, UDF.BY

"The majority of society, while truly hating the authorities, do not consider the opposition as the subject of politics. In their minds it doesn't exist. I'm not talking about the fact, that even our supporters believe, that the opposition is weak and cannot do anything", one of the leaders of the campaign "Tell the truth" Andrey Dmitriev describes present political landscape.

In the interview with "Belarusian partisan" Dmitriev proposes the opposition to introduce a moratorium on untrained street protests and a ban on such activities for unscrupulous organizers. He claims, that the dissatisfaction in the Belarusian society has not developed to the protest, he says, that the opposition should work together and with a single program, should influence the lives of people at the micro level. As long as all this doesn't happen, Dmitriev proposes a moratorium on mass protests.

UDF.BY correspondent figured out whether Dmitriev's statements are his personal opinion, or his position is shared by other opposition politicians.

Viktor Ivashkevich, the co-chairman of the People's Assembly organizing committee:

- Now we're just going to change the format of the assemblies and to speed up the work on places: in labor collectives, residential communities. But our motivation differs from that of Dmitriev. We want to mobilize people to prepare for mass actions. What are the goals of Dmitriev, I do not know. Earlier, about what the opposition should do next, he said to participate in the elections under any conditions even before the release of political prisoners. This idea Dmitriev repeatedly expressed at different round tables. So the call "to do nothing!", especially from the one who expressed gratitude to the police for December 19, has nothing to do with the People's Assembly and our tactics.

Vital Rymasheuski, the co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party:

- Firstly, I think that nobody in this country should have the right to prohibit the participation in and organization of mass actions. This is not withing the competence of any political force. Secondly, we must distinguish between the mass protest actions and spontaneous actions, organized by activists, for example, in support of political prisoners. Thirdly, what really regards numerous protests, they should be well prepared by the united opposition forces. Now we are acting together on the problem of political prisoners, we are in a single position on the international arena, and we will organize the actions by a joint effort.

Anatoly Lebedko, chairman of the United Civil Party:

- I'm not advocating the prohibition of any activity, if it is not beyond the bounds of common sense. The question of mass actions and the appropriateness of their conduct is a debatable question. It is necessary to hold a consultation between all political actors and to develop the plan for a year. And then, at a press conference to make any statements on behalf of all democratic forces. If there is a need, we are ready to hold this meeting next week with all political actors .

Aleksey Yanukevich, chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party:

- To prohibit is not our method, and the people who protest now are worthy of respect. But, in fact, a couple of years ago, we said that the most important thing is that the protest should be widespread. We need to concentrate on a few dates during the year in order to demonstrate to society, the authorities and the world, that there are many people behind our slogans, but not a handful of dissidents. If to hold the actions frequently, it will devalue their significance, I agree with Dmitriev in this respect.