The Coordination Council statement on the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly
The Coordination Council sticks to its principles and is ready to engage in a dialogue between the representatives of the authorities and the people of Belarus. However, we see that in the current situation the voice of the people is not wanted. We, 56 representatives of the main body of the Coordination Council and 5 524 participants of the expanded group of the Coordination Council insist that the gathering of the group of the representatives of the authorities and people loyal to them can not be treated as a national dialogue. Only once all the political prisoners are released, new elections and a genuine people’s assembly can take place.
All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is the imitation of a people’s assembly
The All Belarusian People’s Assembly, despite its pompous and ambitious name, does not represent the voice of the Belarusian society, its interests, concerns, and aspirations. In today’s political crisis, the assembly will not help to resolve it, but, on the contrary, might make it worse.
To resolve a political crisis, citizens should trust the existing tools and mechanisms. The All-Belarusian People’s Assembly has long been perceived as a fictitious tool, which the authorities used to pretend that the problems were being solved. In fact, they tried to legitimize the agenda which was beneficial to the authorities.
Non-transparent nomination of the delegates and hidden agenda
Through an opaque nomination procedure, the authorities gather a club of their own supporters and pronounce themselves the voice of the Belarusian society. There have been numerous attempts Throughout the years people, who according to the law are allowed to become the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly delegates, have tried to get through, but have been blocked by the authorities, sometimes even by brutal force. It happened due to the fact that people with alternative positions are not welcomed at the assembly organized by the government. Thus, in public perception, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly has discredited itself and therefore cannot be a tool for overcoming the current political crisis.
The procedure for nominating the delegates for the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly has traditionally been opaque and fully controlled by the authorities. Some of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly delegates are the deputies of the Houses of Parliament. Public confidence in their legitimacy is very low because of the many violations of the law during the presidential elections and previous events. The other part of the delegates is elected by local councils. They often choose themselves as delegates. Public confidence in their legitimacy is low as well. The fact is that the local councils of deputies are responsible for electing a part of the delegates does not ensure transparency of the procedure. As a result, the list of All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is composed of those who are either loyal to the authorities or those who are invited for the sake of imitation of the alternative opinion.
Thus, All-Belarusian People’s Assembly cannot be perceived as a legitimate body to suggest solutions for solving the current challenges of the country. The appointed members do not represent the interests and values of the majority of the society. The decisions of this meeting should be treated as the opinions of the group of the authorities and people loyal to them.
The Coordination Council believes that instead of establishing a fictitious problem solving process, the authorities should finally find the strength to consider the voices of the majority of the Belarusian society. It is necessary to start a dialogue with the people of Belarus on the issues that are of real importance for the country.
What can each of us do?
Batter down. Send a note to the announced All-Belarusian People’s Assembly delegates. Send queries to local administrations through Skarga.help service and ask the administrations to explain how the selection process happens. It is our civil right to know what is happening in the country.
Participate. Instead of participating in the fictitious process, get involved in the real public discussion at the «SHOD» platform and together with elected by the society delegates work on the crucial for Belarus issues.
The events unfolding in our country are yet another moment to bring the society together. We are witnessing another illegal action of the governmental representatives. This is the time when the Belarusians will once again say that they know and understand what the self-appointed president is trying to do. Decisions that are taken against the will of the Belarusian people can not have power. The Belarusians will not agree to obide by the rules suggested by the unacknowledged group of people.