The presidential campaign in Belarus in the spotlight of international audiences; new opposition is shaping up
By Zmicier Kuchlej
Civil society, political organizations, human rights activists, and the diaspora appeal to EU and US politicians, international media, and organizations to draw their attention to the campaign and repressions against Lukashenka’s rivals and voters. Babaryka and Tsepkala’s HQs, and former MP Kanapatskaya anticipate reformatting political opposition after the elections.
The journalistic community has bolstered response to tough repressions by security forces against independent media. More than 200 journalists signed last week an appeal to the authorities demanding to stop persecuting media representatives.
Some new initiatives have occurred, aiming to reduce the split in society and its polarization. Several Belarusian women recorded a video appeal to the riot police: "I am not hiding my face".
The diaspora continued to organize weekly solidarity actions in different cities across the world. Belarusian political organizations and human rights activists continued consultations and contacts with their European colleagues. As a result, the presence of the Belarusian issue has increased, including on policy level, in European Capitals, and in the United States. For example, within the framework of a German-Swiss solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, some deputies of the Bundestag and MEPs have taken ‘godparenthood’ over political prisoners in Belarus.
In the Polish Sejm, deputies from different factions have formed a parliamentary group on Belarus to support civil society and democratic development in Belarus. Senators of the Czech parliament have expressed solidarity with the civil society and supporters of changes in Belarus. Lithuanian MPs and MEPs have urged to reintroduce sanctions against the Belarusian leadership.
Valery Tsepkala and Viktar Babaryka have announced plans to remain in politics after the presidential elections, regardless of the results.
Former presidential hopeful Tsepkala proposed to establish a National Unity Committee. He is attempting to influence the Belarusian-Russian agenda from Moscow, where he was forced to emigrate due to fears of persecution of his family.