Lyawkovich elected chairman of Belarusian Social Democratic Party


Anatol Lyawkovich has succeeded Alyaksandr Kazulin as chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party “Hramada” (BSDP). At the party’s convention held in Minsk on August 3, delegates voted 53 to 24 to elect Mr. Lyawkovich, who formerly was first deputy chairman of the BSDP.

Fifty-five delegates voted for the proposal to grant the title of honorary chairman of the party to Dr. Kazulin. Twenty-two delegates voted against the proposal.

Dr. Kazulin, who has been held in prison for more than two years now, was elected chairman of the BSDP in July 2005. He was a candidate in Belarus' March 14-19, 2006 presidential election and was arrested during a police crackdown on a peaceful post-election demonstration on March 25. He was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in a minimum security correctional institution on charges widely believed to be politically motivated. Amnesty International has declared Dr. Kazulin a prisoner of conscience.

Dr. Kazulin, rector of Belarusian State University between 1996 and 2003, was reelected in absentia as chairman of the BSDP in March 2007.

Anatol Lyawkovich, born in 1953, has been engaged in politics since 1985. He is co-chairman of the United Pro-democratic Forces. //BelaPAN