Regional conference of the democratic forces. Mogilev
In the end of March Mogilev hosted a regional conference of democratic forces. The conference was attended by representatives of the United Civil Party, Belarusian Popular Front, Belarusian Social Democratic Party NG, non-registered party of Freedom and Progress.
The conference was also attended by guests from the movement “For Freedom” Mr. Milinkevich and Mr. Gubarevich, as well as one of the authors of the “Strategy 2012” Mr. Mackiewicz. The main subject for discussion at the conference was preparation and participation in the 2012 election campaign.
The delegates decided to boycott the Parliamentary elections in 2012, if all political prisoners in Belarus were not released by the beginning of the election campaign.
This decision of representatives of the Mogilev Democratic Forces was adopted almost unanimously. The only reservation was that the 2012 elections “still needed to be prepared for”, given that the authorities could ease up on the political situation at any time. The idea of having a dialogue with the government and holding of legitimate elections in 2012, met little sympathy among the conference participants. This confirms our criticism regarding the prospects for consolidation of the democratic forces across the country. Meanwhile, this inflexible decision at the regional level could be attributed to particular rigidity of the local authorities. During the latest presidential campaign, Mogilev authorities have not included a single representative of the opposition in the territorial election commissions.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.