Belarusian Christian Democracy warns against denial of candidate registration for its presidential hopeful

BCD has announced plans to call on voters to boycott the country’s coming presidential election if its presidential hopeful is denied registration...


Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) has announced plans to call on voters to boycott the country’s coming presidential election and take to the street if its presidential hopeful, Vital Rymashewski, is denied registration as a candidate.

Vital Rymashewski

The unregistered opposition party adopted the resolution at its third founding conference held in Minsk on Sunday.

BCD decided to coordinate its election campaign and observation activities with those of other pro-democratic politicians.

“As Christians and pro-democratic advocates, we face the duty to use all our energy in this campaign to make Belarus a truly free, independent and prosperous country guided by Christian principles,” the resolution reads.

The party confirmed its decision to nominate Mr. Rymashewski to run on its behalf in the election and approved its election platform that calls, among other things, for a territorial reform to divide Belarus into 23 administrative units to improve governance.

While opening the founding conference, BCD Co-chairman Pavel Sevyarynets said that the meeting would be more technical in nature. "Documents required for the registration of the party were prepared a long time ago, and now they just need to be approved," he said.

As many as 144 BCD activists from across Belarus had been nominated to take part in the conference, Mr. Sevyarynets said.

BCD held the previous two founding conferences on February 28 and October 31, 2009. Both applications for state registration that were filed with the justice ministry following the conferences were rejected. The ministry explained that there was evidence of violations of the procedure in the nomination of delegates to the conference, that false information had been provided about founders, and that some people were stated as founders without their knowledge.

Under regulations, there shall be at least 1000 founders residing in Minsk and most of Belarus’ six regions for a political party to be registered.