With whom is the single candidate?
12:48, — Politics
Paviel Sieviaryniec’s suggestion to nominate a single presidential candidate caused ambiguous reaction.
Opposition is discussing the issue of nominating a single presidential candidate at Belarus-wide Congress, the co-chairman of the organizational committee for creation of the party Belarusian Christian Democracy Paviel Sieviaryniec said in Brest on 12 December.
“This is yet just a project, but it gets more and more supporters. I think, if primaries do not work out during the municipal elections campaign, the project will be supported by the alliance for fair elections Talaka”, - the politician said.
According to him, it is expected that the delegates for the Belarus-wide congress will be the ones, who will have run as candidates for municipal elections in 2014.
Belarusian politicians comment on Sieviaryniec’s initiative for Radio Svaboda:
Dzmitry Bandarenka: Maydan is strong even without a single candidate
“The problem is not in a single candidate”, - the coordinator of the European Belarus civic campaign Dzmitry Bandarenka claimed.
“The European Belarus civic campaign relies in its activities on the voice of the people, the public sentiment. This helped us work for the 2010 presidential campaign. That is why we took part in the boycott of parliamentary elections. The majority of the society did not want to take part in that farce”, - Dzmitry Bandarenka said.
Bandarenka was surprised by Paviel Sieviaryniec’s suggestion to compose the Congress of the activists, who would run for municipal elections, which are even less popular among the society and are less considered to be elections at all:
“BChD boycotted parliamentary elections, but now it is going to take part in the municipal ones… A significant part of democratic activists and organizations will boycott the elections. To choose a single candidate this way means to contribute to dividing the democratic forces in the first place”.
According to Bandarenka, the strategy should be first of all decided upon, and only then persons may be suggested for general considerations and discussed:
“We can see the situation in Maydan in Kiev, hundreds of thousands and millions of people come out, but they have no single leader. That is why the problem is not in a single leader, but in the strategy”.
Uladzimir Niakliajeu: A candidate is needed legitimate for everyone
Former presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliajeu supports the idea to nominate a single candidate at a Congress:
“We have come to the conclusion that there is nothing better than the mechanism of a Congress of Democratic Forces. All the other mechanisms will not provide for the unity, which could be accepted by all the democratic forces. This means that such a representative would not be legitimate, because if anyone does not agree, he/she stops being a single candidate for all”.
On the apprehensions of a part of the opposition that only municipal elections candidates would be able to become the delegates of the Congress Niakliajeu commented:
“Those, who will participate in the elections, suggest their delegates, the ones, who do not – suggest ones of their own”.
Viachorka: First, the format of partition in so-called election should be decided
The co-chairman of the organizational committee for creation of the party Belarusian Movement Vincuk Viachorka emphasized that it is too early to nominate a single candidate, because there is a strategic division in the opposition and first of all the format of the participation in the 2015 election should be decided, since a lot can change:
“If we speak of a Congress in general, then in 2005 a congress already nominated a single or “semi-single” candidate. But now there is a clear division line within the opposition, and this division is not caused by ambitions, but by the perception of the regime: whether or not its liberalization is possible, whether or not it is possible to pull an anti-European regime into Europe, or treat Lukashenka as a protector of independence… It seems to me that no rapport is possible between the two“.
According to Viachorka, the unity should be among those, who believe that the regime is incapable of reforming:
“Then it will be possible to speak of the format for the 2015 campaign and the strategy for preparing for it. Only then it will be possible to nominate a single candidate. It is impossible to presume that it will be a classic electoral campaign a priori”.
Vincuk Viachorka is worried that Paviel Sieviaryniec’s idea for the Congress’ delegates to be the candidates for municipal elections would cut off a significant part of those, who do not participate in so-called elections or boycotts them. They would not recognize the results of such a congress.
“The argumentation of those, who boycott, is very simple, it is in correlation with public sentiment. The elections do not have a turnout threshold. Current conditions rule out the possibility for agitation and control over the votes count”.
Andrej Takindang: The result will be zero, even if you sent Kupala to run for the office
A musician and a TV-anchor Andrej Takindang believes that the institute of elections is invalid in Belarus, and there is no sense in participating in them.
“Of course, I welcome gatherings and discussions. It is cool, when different people sit a table for negotiations. But I do not believe in the efficiency of that. I am skeptical about the very institute of elections. I am not going to participate”.
Is it possible to elect a really strong leader by the means of a congress, who will unite all the supporters of change?
“Of course, authoritative leaders should be there. But as long as the elections are as they are, you could send Janka Kupala or Jakub Kolas to participate, but the result would be zero.
Even if a leader is selected, it remains the question whether such a cosmonaut should be sent to space-elections. May be not via elections, but by some other means? There is a certain limit of people’s patience”.