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The results of the election campaign: Impressions by the MFF members who were candidates for deputies

The results of the election campaign: Impressions by the MFF members who were candidates for deputies

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“Belarusians do not believe in elections, but support democratic candidates because they are waiting for an alternative.” — Impressions by the members of the Movement For Freedom (MFF) who participated in the election campaign from beginning to end.

The MFF: The outcome of the election campaign. Why we participated in the election campaign, what we managed to do over this time, and what we will do next. A summary of the past few months.

Tatsiana Malashchanka: “People wished me good luck, although they did not believe the regime could let me in the Parliament.”

MFF member Tatsiana Malashchanka says she felt support of the people during the election campaign. “It is for this support that I participated,” says the ex-candidate.

“They ‘drew’ the final 4.5% of the vote for me. But the main thing was that each ballot should be shown, and this wasn’t done. There was terrible fraud and ballot-stuffing. Just as it was throughout Belarus,” noted Malashchanka.

Aliaksandr Ilyinets: “After the election, I was refused employment.”

“It’s 100% that the election results were rigged. Pro-regime candidates had at least 75% of support everywhere, no matter how many candidates were nominated in each constituency. It cannot be so,” says ex-candidate in Vitsebsk Horkauski constituency Aliaksandr Ilyinets.

He also told about his personal problems after the election. “I was promised a job of lawyer after the election. I waited for this job position for 7 weeks. I called them now, but they appear not to need me after the election,” says the MFF member.

Aliaksey Haurutsikau: “People were telling me: “We are on your side.”

“These elections ended the usual way. But the campaign was different. Judging by voters, there was a feeling, or illusion, that everything is fine, that there is a chance,” says ex-candidate in Vitsebsk Chkalauski constituency Aliaksey Haurutsikau.

He drew attention to “the voter turnout games”. “The people assess the situation correctly, they don’t trust the regime, and eventually ignore the elections. Dependent people, such as students, state employees, the military, employees of state-owned enterprises, government officials, and patients in hospitals, were forced to vote early. They got 30%. But they needed 50%, which was achieved later by ballot stuffing and other similar methods,” is certain the MFF member.

Uladzimir Simankovich: “Belarusians need an alternative.”

“We should surely participate in election campaigns. People asked questions, took our leaflets, and read our programme. They are fed up with the regime — they want someone from the alternative, from the opposition,” says ex-candidate in Vitsebsk Chihunachni constituency Uladzimir Simankovich.

“Based on the results of this campaign, we will analyze the new experience and will use it to prepare for the presidential election,” says the politician.

Ales Shchamlou: “People don’t care about elections.”

“While people know me well in my district, treat my work positively, and support our programme, they don’t believe the regime will let me in the parliament. This already happened, when they didn’t let me in the rural council,” says ex-candidate in Haradok constituency Ales Shchamlou.

The politician calls the results “mythical”. “The vote count of the pro-government candidate, who allegedly ‘won’, was clearly overstated (67%). They gave me 3.76%. At least, this is not below 1%,” noted Shchamlou.

Volha Damaskina: “I had an incredible support of Navapolatsk residents.”

“The campaign passed just the way I expected. Nothing new happened. This is the result of the fact that we have no elections, and the MPs are simply appointed. This has been confirmed once again on November 17,” says ex-candidate in Navapolatsk constituency Volha Damaskina.

At the same time, she says that she “had an incredible support of Navapolatsk residents.”

Uladzimir Katsora: “To carry out a boycott, it isn’t enough not to participate in elections.”

“I decided to participate in the campaign as there was the possibility of a referendum. Fortunately, it wasn’t held. As a result, the campaign has not only passed as usual — conditions have worsened,” says ex-candidate in Homel Selmashauski constituency Uladzimir Katsora.

The politician expressed scepticism about the so-called supporters of elections boycott. “Boycott means an active campaign, and not to do anything is a weak position,” says the politician.

Uladzimir Niapomniashchikh: “Everything is rotten in the state of Belarus — all the power must be replaced.”

“People supported me during the campaign — I felt it. They approached me at pickets, asked about my programme, supported me, and offered to meet again for further discussion,” says ex-candidate in Homel Tsentralni constituency Uladzimir Niapomniashchikh.

In his programme, he proposes to recall the MPs, impeach Lukashenka, and reminds people about the dictator’s $1 million toilets at a time when many parents don’t have enough money to buy medications for their children.

Yahor Hrishanovich: “Their ‘voting results’ are a spit in the people’s face.”

“It was quite interesting to take part in the election campaign. This is a good experience. It was especially pleasant when people supported us and showed real interest,” says ex-candidate in Homel Pramislovi constituency Yahor Hrishanovich.

“The so-called ‘voting results’ are lies and deception! It feels as if they brazenly spit in your face and say: ‘You are seeing things!’, and then they spit again,” says the young politician.

Vitold Ashurak: “Our goal was to take the rostrum and convey the information about our team and ideas.”

“Voting at the Belarusian elections is a special operation of the dictator’s security agencies, so one shouldn’t treat their results seriously,” says ex-candidate in Nioman constituency Vitold Ashurak.

He explains that despite such conditions, his team and he participated in the election because “the goal was not to participate in the special operation, but the election campaign itself.” “Indeed, the election campaign of ex-candidate for MP Vitold Ashurak was perfect. I can say this with full responsibility,” says the MFF Regional Coordinator.

Ivan Kruk: “I had pickets throughout my district.”

“Locals treated my campaign very positively,” says ex-candidate in Smarhon constituency Ivan Kruk. “They said everything is clear to them.”

“We shall continue our work. We have another big campaign ahead,” said Ivan Kruk about his plans.

Valiantsin Tsishko: “The election campaign is a great experience.”

“It’s certainly great to participate in an election campaign. I have extensive experience now, in particular public speeches before the workforce and on television,” says ex-candidate in Maladzechna constituency Valiantsin Tsishko.

He “thanked” the system for the announced numbers of voting results. “Not for the results, but for the numbers. After all, 3.7% of the vote is at least 2,500 people. They are tired of living the way offered by the regime,” says the politician.

Illia Dabratvor: “People are devoid of the right of choice.”

“I assess the election campaign itself very positively. But it’s a pity people are devoid of the right of choice,” says ex-candidate in Lahoysk constituency Illia Dabratvor.

At the same time, he says there were a lot of new people during the campaign. “I have received many letters of support on the election day and afterwards. Perhaps, I got such huge support for the first time ever,” says the politician.

Andrey Yurkou: “I was speaking about the things people are now concerned with.”

“The election campaign went well. The main thing was collecting the signatures. Next, there was publication of my programme in the district newspaper, a television appearance, and the debates,” says ex-candidate in Horki constituency Andrey Yurkou.

He believes that if there was a real vote count, the chances of winning would be high: he is well-known, has repeatedly run for MP since the 1990’s, each time through collecting the signatures.

“I live among these people. You just need to fly your flag — to work honestly and to be an example for people. Do what you should do, and come what will,” says Andrey Yurkou.

Siarhey Tishkavets: “I got deep into politics, so I will remain in it.”

“Many have responded to my campaign — whole groups voted for me in dormitories, and students wrote me a lot,” says ex-candidate in Mahiliou Tsentralni constituency Siarhey Tishkavets. As a result, says the ex-candidate, he was convinced that the electoral process is not entirely transparent, with the results not being entirely honest.

He intends to continue his political activities: “I got deep into politics, so I will remain in it.”

Tatsiana Shambalava: “We don’t know the true election results.”

“We don’t know what was in reality. According to the observers, no one counted anything — they just wrote the numbers they wanted. At the moment, we are in a situation where we cannot know the true election results,” says ex-candidate in Shklou constituency Tatsiana Shambalava.

According to her, her public activities will continue after the election campaign. “I will be solving local problems, the things people are concerned with, trying to change something in our conditions, and forcing authorities to act,” says the politician.

Stanislau Shashok: “I have no doubt I won.”

“We had very intensive two and a half months of election campaigning, during which time we made a lot of impressive and memorable events,” says ex-candidate in Minsk Paudniovi Zakhad constituency Stanislau Shashok.

He is satisfied by the results of the campaign, as a whole, and has no doubt he actually won.

“After all, I’m a young candidate, and I worked with the students actively. It was because I tried to defend the votes of electors and demanded a recount that I was taken to the police right from the polling station during the vote count. I think the time will come when the members of election commissions will have to be accountable for these crimes,” says the MFF member.

Title photo by Uladz Hridzin / Radio Liberty

Author: Volha Bykouskaya

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