Valery Karbalevich: Boycott is senseless without vote count


 “The authorities have learnt
a lot in 12 years"

Euroradio: Is
this parliamentary campaign different from the previous ones?

This campaign follows the events of 2010 when repressions were
enhanced. The conflict with Europe has resulted in the fact that the recognition
of the election by the West is not as important as it used to be. The
opposition is divided into three parts.

Euroradio: Is
this year's boycott different from the previous ones?

Valery Karbalevich:
I can think of only two boycott campaigns - this year's boycott and the boycott
of 2000. The previous campaign was better organized. We can witness a split
this year - there are three groups of opposition forces offering their own alternatives.
At the same time, the authorities' election machine has become more effective.
It provides the result the authorities need regardless of the real voting.

A boycott
is senseless when the votes are not counted. You need to count them for a
boycott to be viable. But votes are not counted in Belarus. Yarmoshyna has already
announced that the turnout will be about 67%.

Euroradio: What alternative to the boycott could
there be?

Valery Karbalevich:
In my opinion, it would be better to focus on the presidential election campaign.
If the opposition unites and selects one candidate, one scenario and one strategy
- it will be able to struggle for power.

You said that the authorities have leant to organize elections the way they
need. What did you mean?

Valery Karbalevich:
The mechanism and methods have been improved. The mechanism is meant to provide
certain results. On the one hand , the authorities want to demonstrate that our
elections are democratic and open. On the other hand, they want certain candidates
to be elected. They use people and means needed to reach this goal.

Is it possible to be elected MP in such conditions?

Valery Karbalevich:
I do not think so. However, it may be real during presidential elections. The machine
will work until a political crisis starts. We can recall the collapse of the
Soviet system when everything stopped fulfilling its functions. But the
opposition needs a single candidate for it.

Have state candidates learnt something new over the years? Have they changed
the strategy?

Valery Karbalevich:
I do not see any particular changes. Their election campaigns resemble a mere
formality. They will not be ready for real struggle if they face it. They are
not public politicians. However, they do not have to bother and they are not
making any efforts.

Has the opposition changed?

Valery Karbalevich:
Lukashenka's authoritative rule has pushed opposition members into a marginal
position. Many of them are jobless or too young. It greatly differs from what we
had in the 1990s. This is a problem and it will emerge when elections become

Euroradio: The
opposition has lost its social status. Who would win if the elections were democratic?

Valery Karbalevich:
It is difficult for me to judge. We do not know when our elections will become democratic.
Everything will have to be started from scratch.