Opposition Forms New Pro-European AllianceMikalay Statkevich, leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (National Assembly), announced in Minsk on 1 November the formation of a new opposition coalition that will seek closer ties with the European Union, Belapan and RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported.
European Coalition Free Belarus, as the new formation is called, in addition to Statkevich's party will include the Belarusian Women's Party Hope, the Youth Front, the Free Belarus bloc based on the Charter-97 opposition group, and some 20 other organizations.
"The goal of this coalition is very noble -- to give a European future to our people," Statkevich told journalists. "We realize that this is a colossal task, and we are looking for supporters of this idea. We are not looking for enemies, this is not a coalition directed against anybody. We will win if people who formerly took different positions support the idea of a common Europe."
Statkevich stressed that the European Coalition Free Belarus should not be perceived as a political rival of another opposition alliance composed of five political parties: the United Civic Party, the Belarusian Popular Front, the Belarusian Party of Labor, the Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly, and the Belarusian Party of Communists. "We are in favor of unification of all democratic forces. We believe that today we have created the foundation for building a single democratic alliance," he said. Statkevich said the new coalition will seek to create "pro-European" election block during election campaigns in Belarus.
Source: RFE/RL Poland, Belarus and Ukraine Report, November 4, 2003
This article appeared in
Belarusian Review, Vol. 15, No 4
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