17 October, Brussels: The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) with information support by the Office for a Democratic Belarus (ODB) hosted an event for the People’s Referendum Coalition from Belarus. Four Belarus movement leaders (“Tell the Truth” leader, Uladzimir Niakliaeu and Vice-Chairman Andrey Dzmitryeu, Movement's “For Freedom” Vice-Chairman Yury Hubarevich and Belarusian Popular Front’s Chairman Alaksej Janukevich) presented the “People’s Referendum” initiative.
The debate focused on political developments in Belarus and plans ahead of upcoming elections. The event was attended by representatives of the EU Institutions, Brussels-based think-tanks and NGOs working with Belarus and the region. In the next three years, Belarus will hold three different elections: local election in 2014, presidential election in 2015 and parliamentary election in 2016. Some opinion polls have indicated that there is a “new majority” - Belarusians who neither support the current president, nor vote for the political opposition. The main challenge for the opposition is how to attract and involve these individuals in Belarus politics and elections.