Mikola Statkevich: People need the opposition

Thanks to the suggestion of the “Narodnaya Volya” chief editor Iosif Syaredzich during a meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 13 February, the idea of “round table” between the authorities and the opposition is actively discussed again. At least there has been no rejection on the part of the head of state.

Politician Mikalai Statkevich says that there will be no love lost between the opposition and the authorities for a long time.

The round table is a conversation between the parties equal in strength, who want to avoid escalation of the conflict, as this can lead to blood or bad consequences. No such equality is expected now. If such a situation arose, people would need to talk. Talking should be done for the sake of the people and independence. But the situation is not ripe for the “round table”. What kind of dialogue can we talk about, if Lukashenka’s opponents are having a dialogue with him on their knees.

People need the opposition. There will be an opportunity to protest on February 17, as the regime would not allow for any application.

We neither want violence, nor lose the state.

If there is a “round table”, it is necessary to raise three issues. We need to agree on how to preserve independence, on the mechanism of the transition to democratic elections. Now the social problems are topical – the Decree on the parasites needs to be canceled, entrepreneurs should be given opportunity to work.

I think that Lukashenko wants unlimited power. But we have to compromise. Despite what happened with me and my family, I am ready to guarantee him a peaceful, secure retirement. But it must be understood that there is another alternative when we simply would not have time to negotiate and time to save him.

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