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Discussion of the Democratic Forces' strategy for the "referendum"

Protests against the 1996 referendum in Minsk
Protests against the 1996 referendum in Minsk Source:

Unification around a common action. Lena Zhivoglod and Dmitry Shchigelsky — on the strategy of action at the "referendum"

Community leader *Honest people and the NAM coordinator Lena Zhivoglod and representative of the "Supratsiu" movement Dmitry Shchigelsky discussed what to do at the "referendum". It is important for us that, we, Belarusians, come to a common plan and a single strategy through discussions. Only common and coordinated efforts will help us achieve freedom and democracy in our country.

Dmitry Shchigelsky: "The boycott [at the "referendum"] will not work. In order the boycott to work, a unified position of all democratic forces is needed. The politicization of society is necessary. A completely different socio-political situation is needed, which does not exist now. The position is very simple: if we cannot prevent a crime, we do not participate in it. De facto, we will get an ignore, not a boycott. There are no forces and means, circumstances and prerequisites for a boycott and, apparently, will not be".

Lena Zhivoglod: "Lukashenka's "referendum" is really a crime. But my position is to discourage crime. Come to polling stations and invalidate ballots. We have not announced further plans yet, but the scenarios of actions are currently in development. Tactical steps will be added to the basic plan published by the democratic forces".

Lena Zhivoglod: "We do not dictate to Belarusians what to do. Closed sociological studies of real agencies, not polls in the telegram, show that Belarusians want to go to a "referendum". And the democratic forces have united to help in this and to take the action that will benefit all of us and interfere with Lukashenka’s plans. If we ignore the "referendum", then we will move along the path of depoliticizing society and return to the state before 2020 ".

Dmitry Shchigelsky: "In theory, it is easier to calculate the turnout than the voting results. How is the turnout calculated? They put people near the polling stations — and they record how many people have come. But in our conditions, I doubt that someone will let someone stand like this. The security forces will come and take everyone away. Therefore, yes, we will not be able to confirm the boycott either. But we, at the very least, do not become accomplices. I understand that this is a position that many do not like, that it may be weak, but the second position is even worse".

Lena Zhivoglod: "I agree with Dmitry that everything is complicated in Belarus, that people are afraid that no one has taken power. But my position is to address these issues. Ignoring and boycotting do not help us get things moving forward. For me, ignoring a "referendum" sounds like a proposal to wait for a better moment, and not create it ourselves. I am also convinced that the people of Belarus are subject to decide what to do. We can help with the infrastructure and the plan — and this is the proposal of the democratic forces".

"If we ignore the 'referendum', it will be a real gift for the regime." For what go to the polling stations and invalidate ballots.

Advisor to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Alexander Dobrovolsky, member of the the NAM justice team Artsiom Praskalovich and strategic communication manager of the Office of Svitlana Tsikhanouskaya Anastasia Kostyugovatalk about the future "referendum" of Lukashenka:

In the video you will learn more about the unified strategy of the democratic forces. The participants will also remember the same 1996 referendum and explain why the boycott actually does not work and why it is possible to win only with a single strategy.

"I think that Lukashenka can seek legitimization both in the" referendum "itself and in the future new post of the chairman of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. The dictator is under pressure from both external and internal circumstances, so he comes up with new attempts to create the illusion of change.

But if his plan works, everything will change only for the worse: all power and, possibly, the right to elect the president, will go to the APA.

If we ignore the "referendum", then for citizen Lukashenka it will be a real gift: everything will be quiet, calm and according to the scenario of the regime", said Artsiom Praskalovich.


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