Memorandum of the Executive Council of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic In Exile1. The Executive Council of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile (BNR Rada) having considered the 19 March 2006 presidential elections in Belarus as well as the preceding and subsequent events, and noting in particular that
- the nomination of Alexander Lukashenka for presidency for the third term was unconstitutional and no democratic legitimacy had been secured for a revision of that norm;
- in the course of the presidential campaign the incumbent regime effectively denied the electorate access to information necessary for making a free and informed choice;
- the "elections" that took place on 19 March 2006 were neither free nor fair, and although the authenticity of the figures released has not been supported by any evidence, the results were forced on society solely by application of massive police violence;
hereby concludes and declares that Alexander Lukashenka shall not be regarded as occupying the position of the President of Belarus legitimately, and therefore the office of the head of state in Belarus shall be regarded as usurped.
2. Since crimes against the human rights and humanity transcend international borders, the Executive Council of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic:
- accepts that democratic nations will be justified, on the basis of the principle of democratic solidarity, in taking measures of assistance to the Belarusian nation to regain its right freely to choose its government and destiny and to enjoy justice, fundamental human rights and political freedoms.
- therefore calls on the governments of the member-states of the EU, NATO, and in particular the leaders of the G8 democratic states to assist Belarusian society in regaining its freedom.
3. The Executive Council of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, recognising that transition to a government formed by free and fair elections in Belarus will require:
- the end to persecution and repression, the release of all political prisoners in good time to partake in the political process;
- the introduction of democratic electoral legislation, guaranteed by law and enforced in practice, the elections' independent supervision, and the electorate's unrestricted access to free information in good time;
- therefore observes that the existing ability of the leader and chief members of the incumbent regime to continue the abuse of their present positions of authority must necessarily be inhabited in order that the implementation of these conditions may become possible.
4. In the view of the regime's self-isolation, comprehensive instruments of sustained pressure and assistance must be a part of any effective solution, the Executive Council of BNR Rada firstly calls for
- sanctions against the external personal and corporate interests of the leaders and high-level functionaries of the regime;
- sanctions against the regime's ability to maintain a system of socio-political control over Belarusian society by keeping the majority of citizens dependent on the state for the material necessities of life.
5. Secondly, the Executive Council of the BNR Rada points out that sanctions against the ruling regime's interests need to be complemented by a comprehensive package of assistance. It therefore requests that all necessary assistance be offered to the pro-democracy community in Belarus, including
- international humanitarian measures to mitigate the hardships of individuals, and members of families, caused by political repression in Belarus;
- a comprehensive package of assistance to disseminate independent information and build an independent civil society infrastructure.
6. Thirdly, the Executive Council of the BNR Rada calls for new concerted efforts to mitigate the external factors inhibiting the restoration of democracy in Belarus, the single major one of which remains the policy of the Russian Federation. The BNR Rada points out that the government of the Russian Federation bears a substantial measure of responsibility for the violation of basic rights and freedoms in Belarus since currently the Russian Federation:
- acts as a party to the politically-brokered economic arrangements with the regime, providing it with the means to sustain stabilisation policies that would have been otherwise unsustainable;
- acts as a political advocate of Lukashenka's regime on the international scene.
7. The Executive Council of the BNR Rada additionally notes the present Russian state's responsibility with regard to the problems of democracy in Belarus. It was the Red Army of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, from which the Russian Federation maintains international legal succession today, that overran the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1919-1920, forcing its Rada and Government into exile and caused Belarus to suffer a variety of territorial losses.
8. In this regard, the Executive Council of the BNR Rada:
- insists that Russia would refrain from taking unfair advantage of the current lack of a democratically accountable state authority in Belarus in particular by means of binding Belarus by commitments of military, economic, political or other nature;
- requests the international community's support in that regard.
9. Regarding all transactions of the regime currently holding power in Belarus with other entities, the BNR Rada recalls that inasmuch as Alexander Lukashenka occupies illegitimately the position of the head of state of Belarus, neither he nor persons acting under his authority, mandate or on his instructions possess legitimate power to confirm legal commitments or undertake obligations on behalf of the Belarusian state. Therefore all such acts shall be liable to be void of legal force for any future government or other legal entities in Belarus.
10. Under the circumstances described the BNR Rada and its Executive Council will be obliged to continue carrying out its historical mandate, in the capacities of Belarusian Representative Assembly and Government in Exile respectively, and passing it on to a future freely elected democratic government of an independent democratic Belarusian State.
Ivonka J. Survilla, President, Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile.
This article appeared in
Belarusian Review, Vol. 18, No. 2
Copyright 2006 Belarusian Review
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