Opposition parties to put up several candidates in city districts
Tell the Truth! campaign has nominated 29 candidates for deputies to the Parliament, of which two thirds have not been engaged in politics until now. With the exception of the centre-right coalition including the UCP, BCD and For Freedom movement, the rest of the opposition structures will carry out independent parliamentary campaigns with own candidate lists. That said, Statkevich’s initiative to establish a more integrated structure with mandatory decisions for all members and a governing body based on the permanent advisory council of democratic forces has not gained popularity among the opposition. In large cities, opposition groups are likely to nominate several candidates per constituency, at least, at the first stage of the Parliamentary campaign (collection of signatures and nomination of candidates).
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.