Authorities warn candidates of ‘possible provocations’ at pre-election events

On July 29, CEC Chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna summoned all the presidential candidates to the Belarusian Central Election Commission without giving any reason.

At about 9 am on Thursday, Hanna Kanapatskaya, Andrey Dzmitryeu, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Syarhei Cherachan entered the House of Government in Minsk. During the meeting, the presidential hopefuls were informed of the feasibility of provocations during the election campaign. According to Security Council Chairman Andrey Raukou, the persons who mastermind the provocations are trained at special centres in Russia. Notably, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who is again running for presidency, did not participate in the meeting.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, photo: Belsat

“They [officials] claim there are 170 militants who might be a threat to mass events. Raukou says there are two groups near Pskov and Nevel who are working on staging a terrorist attack. According to him, some of them [detained Russian citizens] stated they had come to ‘make a revolution’. It is difficult to question the words of the Secretary of the Security Council. I need more information about what is happening. If there are militants [in Belarus], what we should do with them – catch them, close cities down? There is something new. This election campaing is unexampled,” Andrey Dzmitryeu said.

When the politician asked Raukou about the possibility of blocking the Internet, the top military official left room for it in case of ‘an imminent threat coming from online’.

Аndrey Dzmitryeu. Photo: Belsat
Syarhei Cherachan. Photo: Belsat

“I think our campaign office’s decision not to hold mass events was sound,” Hanna Kanapatskaya said.

Veranika Tsapkala, the wife of the runaway might-have-been-presidential candidate, also made a statement.

“I received a summons as part of the case [initiated against Valery Tsapkala] over the Turkish citizen’s complaints. This morning, my sister was detained by unknown people and taken away in an unknown direction. I consider it as exerting political pressure on me and our family.”

Veranika Tsapkala. Photo: Belsat
The representatives of the united headquarters (Tsikhanouskaya, Kalesnikava, Tsapkala) before meeting at CEC. 30 July 2020. Photo: Belsat
Аndrey Dzmitryeu (R). 30 July 2020. Photo: Belsat
Hanna Kanapatskaya. 30 July 2020.

In turn, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said that the united headquarters of the three wannabe presidential candidates would not make changes in their plans:

“All our events will take place as planned. Security measures will be strengthened. Come to the picket, take care of yourselves. The state has taken responsibility for security measures.”

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