Might-have-been presidential candidate Valery Tsapkala has written an open letter to the presidents and prime ministers of 32 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Ukraine. Russia is not on the list, TV channel Dozhd (Rain) reports.
In the letter, Tsapkala focuses on the fact that over 26 years Belarus has been ruled by one and the same person who established ‘an authoritarian regime where the democratic society’s basic values (alternation of power, freedom of speech and expression, basic human freedoms) are not respected’. According to him, the Belarusian authorities are now ‘actively obstructing’ the current campaign and exerting pressure on ‘anyone who wants justice and transparency in the electoral process’.
He urged the leaders to support the holding of free and fair presidential elections in Belarus and to draw the public’s attention to the ‘anti-people policy’ pursued by the Belarusian regime.
The emigre politician also called for providing assistance in organising international election observation, as well as ensuring transparency of the process for the citizens of Belarus who are in the territory of the 32 addressee countries.
On June 29, the Belarusian Interior Ministry launched a probe into ‘illegal activities’ in which Valery Tsapkala, a founder of the Belarusian Hi Tech park and former diplomat, was allegedly involved.
A day later, the Central Election Commission announced that Valery Tsapkala had not collected the necessary number of signatures to become a presidential candidate. The commission approved only 75,000 out of 160,000 signatures and said that Tsapkala would no longer take part in the presidential race. In turn, Tsapkala wrote on his Twitter that he had no intention to give up and would fight for each signature.
In late July, the participant in the 2020 election campaign took his two sons and left Belarus for Moscow. According to his wife, ‘credible sources’ provided them with information that the authorities were going to use a far-fetched pretext and detain him. Moreover, they are allegedly set to deprive the couple of parental rights.
By the moment, Valery Tsapkala has moved to Kyiv. His wife Veranika Tsapkala decided to stay in Belarus in order to continue working at the united election teams’ headquarters.