Minsk: Two opposition MPs barred from running for parliament again

Phot. belsat.eu

Two opposition MPs, Alena Anisim and Hanna Kanapatskaya, have not been registered as parliamentary candidates in the upcoming elections.

“I have not been registered as a candidate for deputy,” Kanapatskaya said on Thursday.

She claims that the United Civic Party, which she used to be a member of, has contributed to the situation. As the party bosses refused to add her to the party’s electoral list, the politician suspended her membership and tried to gain the right to stand as a candidate by collecting voters’ signatures.

“I had no doubt that the authorities would use this fact against me,” she said.

Among other things, Hanna Kanapatskaya is known for her supporting the idea of sovereignty and independence as well as actively participating in the public campaign ‘Belarus Go!’ Its activists collected more than 8,000 signatures for our country’s withdrawal from the Belarus-Russia Union State.

Point of no return? 20 years on referendum that marked end of democracy in Belarus

After the infamous referendum in 1996, the first and still the only president of Belarus received the authority to hold referendums and appoint top officials. His decrees and orders became stronger than laws: the Belarusian parliament – National Assembly – was turned into a rubber-stamping legislative body which obediently carries out all Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s instructions. In September 2016, the news about two opposition candidates’ getting into the lower chamber of Belarus’ National Assembly came as a bombshell.

Non-registering the oppositionists is indicative of either the ‘end of the democratization game’ or the authorities’ reluctance to popularize any opposition, Belarusian political commentator Artsyom Shraybman said on October, 17.

“And it means that people from the ‘opposition quota’ must be regularly replaced by new recognizable politicians,” the expert believes.

It should be noted that a number of Belarusian opposition activists, including Iryna Khalip, Yury Hubarevich, Alyaksandr Kabanau, Maksim Vinyarski, were also denied registration.

In early August, Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a number of decrees to set the dates for the elections to the Council of the Republic and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 7th convocation. They will be held on 7 and 17 November 2019 respectively.

Belarus set between independence and integration