Paznyak does not return to Belarus because he likes staying abroad, says deputy chairman of Liberal Democratic Party

Opposition politician Zyanon Paznyak does not return to Belarus because he likes staying abroad, Aleh Haydukevich...


Opposition politician Zyanon Paznyak does not return to Belarus because he likes staying abroad, Aleh Haydukevich, a former police chief who has recently been elected deputy chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), told reporters in Minsk on Monday.

In an interview given on November 1, the 68-year-old Paznyak, the emigre chairman of the Conservative Christian Party, alleged that Belarusian opposition groups were financed and controlled by the West and had no ideas of goals of their own, BelaPAN said.

"We're grateful to Zyanon Paznyak for voicing what the LDP has been saying for 10 years," Mr. Haydukevich said. "Zyanon Paznyak said that all our oppositionists live to divide European money."

The only thing that prevents Mr. Paznyak from returning to Belarus is that he does not want to return, Mr. Haydukevich said. "How good it is to stay abroad and fight for the happiness of the Belarusian people!" he said. "[How good it is] to be maintained by Europe and the USA, live in a good European house, walk along European streets and to fight for the happiness of our Belarusian people!"

It is possible to do something for Belarus only if you are in Minsk, Hrodna, Homyel, Vitsyebsk, or Brest, Mr. Haydukevich stressed.

"Do come back, no one will touch you here," he said. "There's no danger to you here. What's more, you'll be met with flowers."

However, Mr. Paznyak will not come back because he is 70 years old and has nothing in Belarus. "He doesn't even have a party," Mr. Haydukevich said. "No one will come here, neither Paznyak, nor [Andrey] Sannikaw, nor [Ales] Mikhalevich. All they need now is to make themselves comfortable abroad. They are not interested in anything else."

The 35-year-old Haydukevich, who served as chief of the Frunzenski district police station in Minsk between 2009 and August 2012, is known for his role in breaking up street protests and arresting opposition activists. Although his father, Syarhey Haydukevich, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, is critical of both the government and opposition forces, he is suspected of secretly cooperating with Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Zyanon Paznyak has been living outside Belarus since April 1996, when he fled the country after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with his role in street protests against President Lukashenka's pro-Russian policies.

In the period between May 1990 and January 1996, Mr. Paznyak was a member of the Supreme Soviet (parliament), where he headed the group of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF).

In 1994, Mr. Paznyak was a candidate in a relatively free and fair presidential election. Out of the six candidates on the ballot in the first round, he came third with 12.9 percent of the vote after Mr. Lukashenka with 44.8 percent and Vyachaslaw Kebich with 17.3 percent.

In 1999, the Belarusian Popular Front's radical wing led by Mr. Paznyak split from the main BPF to found the Conservative Christian Party. The new party claimed to be the only true BPF successor and did not recognize the "other" BPF. It also distanced itself from the rest of Belarus' opposition groups and labeled them as the "regime's accomplices" for the lack of action against the threat of Belarus' incorporation into Russia, and dependence on Western grants.