Over 300 members of Belarusian Christian Democracy may try to run in local elections

More than 300 members of an unregistered opposition party called Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) may try to obtain access to the ballot in the coming local elections in the country.

The election campaign was discussed by the party’s board at a meeting held in Minsk on Saturday.

“The House of Representatives has passed amendments to the Electoral Code; 95 percent of them are cosmetic, but the current political situation suggests that the coming elections will be significantly easier than previous election campaigns,” said Pavel Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of the BCD organizing committee. “The local elections are the number one chance for BCD. We will use the campaign to show that BCD is an influential force. Participation in the local elections is needed to show everyone — youths, pensioners and clergy people — that we can win and address their problems.”

Dzyanis Sadowski, executive secretary of the party, told BelaPAN that it would be mainly BCD founders who would try to obtain access to the ballot in the coming elections.

However, he expressed pessimism over the coming campaign, noting that there was little hope that it would be democratic. “We will use the local elections to promote the values of the Christian Democrats,” he said. “But I don’t rule out that our supporters may become members of local soviets, because they work to address local problems already now, without having any official status.”

Earlier this month, the justice ministry once again denied state registration to the Belarusian Christian Democracy party. In a statement posted on its website, the ministry explained that false information was provided about founders of the party. The ministry randomly interviewed 70 people indicated as founders and established that more than half of them could not regarded as such because those people either “did not take part in the founding of the party” or information about them was not true, the statement said.