Slutsk: Opposition blogger gathers hundreds of picketers

On May 25, popular Belarusian blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski held pickets in the town of Slutsk to collect signatures for nominating his wife Svyatlana for the presidency.

Several hundred people have showed up at today’s events.

Syarhei Tsikhanouski, 25 May 2020.

In the afternoon, a picket was staged near the site where Andrey Yancheuski, Head of Slutsk district executive committee, is having his house built. Tsikhanouski opted for the place for good reason: according to the vlogger, the executive ordered to put his associate Uladzimir Nyaronski in a temporary detention centre. In the evening, the picket decamped to Paris Commune street.

In early May, Tsikhanouski, the author of Youtube channel Страна Для Жизни ( A Country for Life) staged meetings with the subscribers in several Belarusian cities and towns. The local authorities made attempts to thwart the events; later, many participants were detained or summoned to the police.

A line of picketers willing to put their signatures for Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s nomination. Photo: Slutsk-Gorod.by

While serving a 15-day jail term for participating in unauthorised mass events, the blogger revealed his presidential ambitions. However, the Belarusian Central Election Commission refused to register his initiative group, referring to the alleged violation of the submission procedure. As Syarhei Tsikhanouski was in custody at that moment, all the necessary documents were signed and filed by his wife Svyatlana. Although CEC officials admitted that the candidature of Tsikhanouski met the requirements of the electoral law, he was turned down. According to them, only a person who intends to campaign for the presidency must sign the documents.

On the back of the situation, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya managed to get her initiative group registered instead; it consists of 252 members. To officially become a presidential candidate, the woman will have to collect 100,000 signatures until June, 19. The names of the candidates will be announced in mid July, and the election will be held on August, 9.

Thousand wait in line to support potential presidential candidates in Minsk

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