The next presidential election in Belarus will most likely take place on 30 August, 2020. President Alexander Lukashenko already annouced his plans to run for another term. Who is going to rival him?
Four women and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) declared their presidential ambitions with varying degrees of confidence so far.
The only election when a woman became a presidential candidate in Belarus were held in 2015. Then Tatsiana Karatkevich, one of the leaders of civic campaign Havary Praŭdu took second place – 271,426 people or 4.4% of voters voted for her.
Karatkevich neither declared her intentions to join the 2020 presidential race nor abandoned her presidential ambitions. She stressed that the civic campiagn will choose its candidate at the beginning of next year.
“The most important thing for us is to decide on an alternative agenda: to make sure that people are represented, their aspirations, problems are resolved. The results of the parliamentary campaign showed that people who want change were removed from the decision-making process, and we need to make sure that their voice is heard,” she said.
The position of MP Hanna Kanapatskaya, the United Civic Party member, is rather vague.
“As I’ve always said, a soldier who does not want to become a general is a bad soldier. I have not taken the final decision on participation in the presidential election. At the same time, I am a supporter of a single candidate from all democratic forces and, in any case, I am open for constructive and productive work on this issue,” Hanna explained.
MP Alena Anisim, who had previously announced her candidacy for the president, now says that she will announce her decision by the end of the year.
“We need to prepare financially, if there is no financial security, there will be no sense to take part in the election, this is a sham,” says Anisim.
The Belarusian Christian Democracy co-chairman, ex-deputy candidate Olga Kovalkova also plans to become a presidential candidate.
“People want to see an alternative, join someone, to see in this grey mass of negativity someone positive, someone who is ready to fight for change. There are no real elections in Belarus, but we need to go beyond the scenario the government offers each campaign.
The authorities should see that there are more people who want change than those who are on the other side of the system. The opposition should have a task to unite people in a united tangible front, so that the authorities know that there are people who can dictate their conditions.”
LDP leader Oleg Gaidukevich announced his plans to become a presidential candidate this August. Now the deputy Gaydukevich says that his plans have not changed, but the LDP’s candidate will be elected at the party congress.