Veteran members of Belarusian Popular Front throw support behind rival presidential contender Sannikaw

A group of veteran members of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) announced during a news conference in Minsk on June 23 that they would support presidential hopeful Andrey Sannikaw and not the BPF nominee, BelaPAN reports.

The group included Viktar Ivashkevich, chairman of the Minsk city organization of the BPF; scientist Yury Khadyka; artist Alyaksey Marachkin; Valyantsin Holubew, a former member of the Belarusian parliament; and sculptor Ales Shaternik.

People of high intelligence should lead the country, Dr. Khadyka said.

"We've had enough leaders 'from the stove' or 'from cattle,'" he said. "All our woes come from the government's inability to pursue intelligent and independent policies. From this standpoint, Sannikaw's presidential candidacy is impeccable."

Mr. Ivashkevich called on all contenders and their supporters to join Mr. Sannikaw's team.

“As a member of Sannikaw’s campaign team, I can say that we have much respect for all presidential contenders and all leaders of parties, both former and current ones, and hope that specific activities aimed at changing the regime will give us the opportunity to pool our efforts,” Mr. Ivashkevich said. “Even if this work begins in the teams of different contenders, I think all these teams will very soon start to unite and Mr. Sannikaw and I, as a member of his team, declare that our door is open to any contenders and members of their teams who will decide at any stage of the presidential campaign that they should support candidate Sannikaw. And we’ll cooperate with them.”

Zmitser Marchuk, leader of the BPF chapter in Minsk’s Kastrychnitski district, noted that Mr. Sannikaw’s Zodiac sign, Pisces, would be favorable for him in confrontation with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, a Virgo man. He drew parallels to Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev in the USSR, Slobodan Milosevic and Vojislav Kostunica in Yugoslavia, and Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenka. The former, who were Virgos, were succeeded by the latter, who were Pisces people.