"We do our thing": How opposition reacted to election date change


Initially, the most probable date of the presidential elections in Belarus was November 15. On June 9, the CEC Chairwoman Lidziya Yarmoshyna suddenly announced that it would be better to hold elections a month earlier - on October 11. At the last session, on June 30, the House of Representatives almost unanimously supported the proposal of Ms Yarmoshyna.

Paulyuk Kanavalchyk, Yury Shulhan Chief of Staff

"We considered the question of the date change at the very start. We expected that the authorities would try to move the active part of the campaign, the collection of signatures, to the holiday season, when people go away, and they will have nothing to do with politics."

Shulhan's associate also noted that his team is ready for the elections in any case and will not change plans.

Syarhei Kalyakin, the Fair World party

"The authorities, of course, are trying to hasten the day of the election, and they moved it forward as much as possible, because, unfortunately, the socio-economic situation is quite complicated."

However, Syarhei Kalyakin agrees that the CEC and the deputies in this case acted in accordance with the Belarusian legislation and appealing the decision of the House of Representatives is not possible. So we have to adjust to the new date.

Anatol Lyabedzka, potential candidate from the United Civil Party

The UCP leader said that his team's work has in no way been affected by the decision of deputies - Mr Lyabedzka is not going to adjust his plans no matter what.

"Today we have a normal working day. Everything is planned within a month, week, day. So today is nothing unusual, we work under the plan, without changing the rhythm. "

"They have their own game, we have ours," he adds.

Andrey Dzmitryieu, Tatstsiana Karatkevich Chief of Staff

"Of course, we wish we had this extra month. We could have a month more to campaign, to meet people."

Mr Dzmitryieu also said that the new date was not the biggest surprise: "We were warned in advance." Therefore, the politician is convinced that the transfer of the election date ato a month earlier will not do great harm to Karatkevich's campaign.