Talaka opens office for grassroots work in Brest

The Talaka Civil Alliance for Free and Fair Elections has established an office in Brest that will seek to involve common people in political activities.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on Thursday, Anatol Lyabedzka, chairman of the United Civic Party (UCP), said that 10 such offices had already been opened in nine cities. Two more offices are soon expected to be appear in Baranavichy and Pinsk.

Mr. Lyabedzka said that the situation in Belarus would change only after the number of politically active people drastically increased. “When dozens or hundreds of people are active, one cannot set ambitious tasks,” he said. “When there’re hundreds of thousands, change comes to the country independent of what the authorities think about it.”

Mr. Lyabedzka noted that the offices would use the premises of registered political organizations, which would allow people to engage in political activities without fearing persecution.

Syarhey Kalyakin, chairman of the Spravedlivy Mir (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left, said that the performance of the offices would determine whether or not opposition forces would be able to nominate a single contender to run on their behalf in the 2015 presidential election. Mr. Kalyakin explained that the authorities could be forced to count ballots properly only if opposition forces dealt with people’s daily problems and were viewed as a real alternative to Alyaksandr Lukashenka. This would make the status of a single opposition candidate far more prestigious, he said. // BelaPAN