Political opposition today

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Political opposition today

The presidential elections of 2010 formed a new palette of political forces in the opposition spectrum. The majority of old parties, such as, for example, United Civil Party or the Communist Party (who changed their name to “A Just World” Party) had lost their significance and were pushed to the political periphery.

Today, the leading opposition forces are as follows: the civic initiative ‘Tell the Truth!’ headed by former presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu and the For Freedom Movement, led by former presidential candidate of 2006 Alaksandr Milinkevic. The BPF party headed by young politician Alexey Yanukevich is in close alliance with the “For Freedom Movement”.

The movements of Milinkevic and Nyaklyaeu’s are close to each other and try to cooperate in every sphere of Belarusian political life.

The Belarusian social-democratic party (Hramada), that was very important in 2005-2007, after a set of painful splits lost its influence and is oriented towards the Tell the Truth! movement.

Radical political forces, though not supported by society, are fairly active and have a certain influence among the opposition. Charter97 is the most important of such forces. At the last presidential elections it was represented by its coordinator Andrei Sannikov.

Charter97 influences the other non-registered Belarusian political party, “Belarusian Christian Democracy” (it was represented at presidential elections by the youngest of its leaders, Vital Rymasheuski) and another former presidential candidate, Ales Michalevic.

Another radical movement is represented by some special forces officers that emigrated to the West emerged this year. They have become media figures after they came up with the initiative to form a “government-in-exile”. This initiative was not supported by the opposition, and the movement itself has no significant support within the country. Colonel Uladzimir Borodach and Major of Committee for State Security Onufri Romanovich are the key figures of the movement.

The “EuroBelarus” consortium can also be seen as a significant social force that consolidates pro-European Belarusian NGOs. The members of “EuroBelarus” see their mission in widening the influence and strengthening the position of Belarusian society, as well as promoting the idea of Belarus cooperating with Europe. The “EuroBelarus” consortium is coordinated by Vladimir Matskevich, a reputable Belarusian political expert. 

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists