Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Mikalai Statkevich intends to use possibilities of electoral campaign

Mikalai Statkevich at a picket on September 10, 2015
Mikalai Statkevich at a picket on September 10, 2015

At the unauthorized picket “For Free and Fair Elections”, held near the City Department Store (HUM) on September 10, former political prisoner and presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich promised to invite Aliaksandr Lukashenka to a meeting in the coming weeks.

The politician stated that the picket was a peaceful event and promised to fully use the possibilities of the campaign until its end, October 10. "I want my country to be normal. I do it primarily for myself, in order to keep my dignity. Even if I was here alone, I would still stand here," said Mr. Statkevich.

In an interview with reporters he explained the inactivity of law enforcement agencies in relation to the event by the lack of money:

“There is no money for dictatorship. Maybe, then they will secretly do all sorts of bad things. Earler they would have come with batons and comb through all of us, but now they have no money. I believe that if we force the authorities to unscrew the nuts by two turns, they will be able to screw them back by no more than one. We need to have as much freedom as possible, both inside and outside, so that it would be harder to tighten the screws back.

What concerns the conversation with the police and of the filling of a report during the picket,
Statkevich joked:

“Some boy wanted something from me, was writing something. Only lieutenants were thrown under me, the Statkevich tank, even in jail, because others are wiser and wouldn't like to get under a tank.”

The former political prisoner also spoke about his participation in the next election:

“I am very afraid that the situation would change without elections. If the boiler they have created, explodes out of fear, it will be terrible, and Belarusians will be surprised with themselves. We yet need to live to see the next elections, but I believe that the situation in the country will be changing radically in the coming years.

Mikalai Statkevich emphasized that the date of October 11 meant nothing for him, since there were no elections. He wouldn't even like to use the word “boycott”, because it would mean admitting the very fact of the elections, whereas in fact they have taken place already.

“It is better to take part even in fraudulent elections, if there is a steady and hones candidate. If Liabedzka was such a candidate at this election, I would call him not to withdraw from them, so that the observers could prove that the votes aren't counted, and would call on the people to gather in the square to state his victory. However, this is not the case, and what is left is just to forgive those who are running for the presidency.”

The politician also expressed his vision of what can come next:

“Next there will be Belarus and our responsibility for it. We are on this lad and we will continue living here. We won't surrender it to anyone else. I see that honest and brave people have come to this picket. We will gather and work out ours strategy for the next campaign. We will invite Lukashenka for a meeting in the coming weeks, other candidates are of no interest for me. If he doesn't come, we will invite him again. I will organize everything myself.”