There were all sorts of opinions “against”. Some were saying: “Fighting for presidency is your real level!”, while others were saying that the only choice is a boycott since, allegedly, “to stand for elections means to aid the regime!”.
In the first case, they were flattering vanity in me; in the second case, they were trolling me with a blatant, primitive anti-PR a la the BT that, unfortunately, seeks to be mainstream in the free public opinion. I don’t care much about various labels put on me by boycotters residing in European capitals along the perimeter of Belarus and writing on the internet – one-aloner politicians who have no structures behind them and who are masking their marginality as a high-toned political stance.
At the same time, there is a courageous politician Mikalay Statkievich who – being behind the bars – called for taking part in the election: “In the absence of progress in democratisation of the election law, the democratic forces should have the following objectives while participating in the parliamentary campaign: using legal opportunities for a nation-wide agitation campaign, holding coordinated protest actions all over the country in the format of meetings with voters, and collecting evidence of ballot rigging. Opposition’s non-participation in elections isn’t the reason for their international non-recognition, just as the opposition’s participation isn’t the reason for the recognition of elections.”
If they managed to fling mud even at him, a political prisoner, and suspect him of working for the regime, why then should I complain at all?! Unfortunately, there are wicked propagandists on our side of the barricade, as well.
They accuse me saying that I didn’t participate in the presidential election of 2010 but run for deputy now, as if something has changed. I will answer. Back in 2010, the authorities wrote a scenario with many candidates, so that the quantity would exceed the quality.
In contrast to the presidential election, the parliamentary election would hardly manage to change the authorities. However, participating in the election campaign is very important in order to communicate with the people – to say that there is an alternative, that independence and the European prospects are at threat; at least, not to be distant or strange for the people.
Today, the situation is such that the authorities are on their own, the opposition is on its own, and the people are on their own. Yet, these times are fateful for the country. At this election, the Movement For Freedom (MFF) aims at strengthening in Belarusians the feeling of necessity of change and of personal responsibility for the fate of their motherland. We want to tell people about successful reforms in different countries, including in the neighbouring ones: in Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Czechia, and others. We also propose our plan of reforms for Belarus taking into account their mistakes. We will be presenting The People’s Programme being a unique “road map” of reforms that we were devising for more than a year.
Belarusians can implement reforms because we have many skilful people with clear minds.
We need faith and optimism to implement changes.
Therefore, it is important for us to demonstrate that there are many such persons among independent candidates for deputies – hard-working and intelligent, worthy and honest, loving their motherland, and knowing how the changes should be implemented. We don’t need a stable survival but a stable development; and we have the crucial element for this – which is our people. And such people have the right to have such deputies as they elect, but not those planted on them.
I run for deputy in the 109th constituency of Minsk which is in Uruchcha sub-district.
I’m sure that, having real professionals in all kinds of areas in my initiative group and in my team, and having waged an intensive information and agitation campaign, I would win – at least, in people’s minds; I know the mood of Uruchcha residents personally thanks to local sociologic surveys, and I know the Minskers’ opinions, on the whole.
I won’t be the only independent candidate from the opposition to win if the vote count is fair and honest. Even a parliamentary fraction of a dozen of deputies could promote reforms in the country. Just think – the last parliament has initiated only several bills itself. Whereas in a sound country, the parliament isn’t some kind of a bureau of document “stampers” appointed from above, but a forum of the people’s deputies engaged in law making and in defending the interests of their voters.
What would I do first of all if I have a deputy mandate? I promise to tell about this in the next article.
Alaksandr MILINKEVICH, Naviny.by