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Youngster unable to quit youth state union
A high-school student in Baranavicy decided to quit the Belarusian National Youth Union (BRSM) but has been unable to do so. The young man visited the city branch of the BRSM in order to return his membership card but even the building's guard told him that it would be difficult to quit.
“I have visited the City Executive Committee in order to quit the BRSM today,” the Baranavichy resident wrote in his Telegram channel. “The guard told me that it would be difficult to leave until I turned 32. I entered the union's office when ladies were having tea with biscuits. Their expressions changed so much when they saw a 16-year-old who wanted to leave the BRSM.”
The union activists were surprised to hear that the young man wanted to leave the organization. They asked him if he was aware that he would lose all the benefits when trying to enroll with a university.
“I told them that I was aware of everything but wanted to quit anyway,” the young man writes. “Yet, it turned out that the local branch had no head. I thought that they were trying to deceive me. However, it was true. The position was vacant.”
No chairperson means it is impossible to quit
Is it true that it is impossible to quit the youth organization even though the membership is optional? It is possible to leave anytime but not now, Baranavichy BRSM affiliate told Euroradio.
— "We do not have either the first secretary or the second one," they replied. "It is possible to leave the organization. However, there is no chairperson at the moment. Yes, we are having a hard time. The chief specialist cannot make such decisions [to accept or expel members. - Euroradio]. Yet, everything is voluntary."
— A deputy is usually appointed when there is no chairperson.
— This problem will be solved in the near future.
— What are the requirements? Can I apply?
—The candidate should be responsible, aged below 32 and should be a university graduate.
The Belarusian National Youth Union (BRSM) is a state organization considering itself to be the successor of the Leninist Communist Youth League. BSRM activists are advertising the official state policy and support Alyaksandr Lukashenka and pro-government candidates at parliamentary elections. Its activities are often criticized due to coercive membership. Minsk grammar school pupils were being forced to join the organization last year. The children were threatened with problems at examinations if they refused to join the BRSM.