BPF Party Election Platform 2016
We, the BPF Party candidates at the election of deputies to the House of Representatives of the VI-th convocation, consider defense of the country’s national interests for restoration and ensuring of political, military, economic, energy and informational independence of Belarus, restoration of democratic governmental system and transition to the new economic model for safeguarding freedom and prosperity for Belarusian people to be our main priorities.
The incumbent government’s policies have brought Belarus to a deep economic crisis. Hopes for constant subsidies from the East, thoughtless binding of Belarusian enterprises to insecure Russian markets, self-isolation from the closest European neighbours and the most economically and technologically developed countries, avoidance of economic reforms and procrastination of burning measures for restructuring of economy – this is the false course of the present authorities and the government, approved by the incumbent parliament. These are the deputies of the incumbent parliament, obediently approving the most odious proposals of the executive power, who are responsible for the economic crisis, decline in living standards, cut of wages, mass dismissals of workers and elimination of social securities.
This government and this parliament try to hide from the responsibility for their economic failures, shifting the burden of crisis to Belarusian people and imposing new taxes and duties.
Consequences of the activities of the incumbent House of Representatives are bright evidence of the fact that the outdated programs of the authoritarian government and deputies-marionettes are completely out of touch with reality and have brought the country into political and economic deadlock.
We will do it in a different way! We will do it better!
The country needs a true Parliament, where Belarusian people are represented by the national and democratic forces, which are ready to rebuff any economic or political venture, stop tricks and abuses against people, bring corrupt officials to responsibility and bar betrayal of our national interests.
The BPF Party does have the program of reforms, which will allow to implement the principle “Not people for government, but government for people” in order Belarusians to live in dignity and prosperity and be masters on their land.
1. No new taxes and duties until recovery from crisis!
The House of Representatives has turned into the machine on legislative authorization of the manifold new duties to be collected from citizens: fee for the permit for a car to participate in road traffic, tax on unemployed, tax on loans and borrowed money; it has also been implemented that women, who are individual entrepreneurs and attorneys, will be paid only 50% of the benefit on their maternity leave, etc.
The Ministry of Communication is working out a new 10% tax on mobile communication and Internet. The Ministry of Taxes and Duties is preparing the abolition of 20 benefits, which will significantly increase the tax burden for the population. Starting from 2016, electricity and heating has risen in price by 20%.
New taxes, duties, abolition of benefits and social securities – this is the policy of the incumbent deputies. The BPF Party stands for the moratorium on new taxes and duties, until the country recovers from the crisis.
2. We will conduct reasonable privatization of state property
Starting from its foundation, the BPF Party has stood for private ownership as the basis for effective economy and source of human dignity. Under the conditions of transition from the socialist system to free market, it is extremely important to maintain the principles of both justice and efficiency as much as possible.
In the first place, enterprises, which are of strategic importance and directly influence economic, energy or military independence of our state, should remain the state property.
The BPF Party will conduct privatization of state property in three ways.
The first group of enterprises, which work effectively, should be preserved and privatized for the benefit of workers and managers, who work on the enterprises.
The second group of enterprises, which don’t show effective results of their work, should be privatized by means of their entire sale or dissolved in infrastructure units and sold in parts. At the same time, the BPF Party provides a special program for development and support of small business in the country, so that workers, who will lose their jobs, could fulfil themselves in other fields and provide for their families.
When it comes to the third group of enterprises, which were found before the Soviet accession to power in various regions of the country, if they are privatized in a first or second way, 30% of their shares should be given back to the descendants of their former owners and founders. This will restore investors’ trust in Belarus as a country, where property can’t be seized by willful means.
3. We will ensure freedom and support for small and medium businesses
The BPF Party is the exponent of small and medium businesses’ interests, as well as national intelligentsia’s interests, who are the motive force of national revival. The BPF Party has always stood for maximum liberation of private initiative.
Belarusian authorities act in accordance with the old Soviet tradition, creating barriers and prohibitions for people. All these increase expenses and make life in our country extremely expensive. This also makes our citizens extremely dependent on the state and kills people’s initiative and energy.
The BPF Party will eliminate the practice of governing by means of decrees, conduct cardinal review of laws and by-laws in order to free small and medium business from state’s pressure. We will adopt programs on support of small and medium businesses, easing of tax pressure on them. Together with stabilization of all economy, credit resources will also become more accessible.
Such irrational restrictions, as requirement of registration as an individual entrepreneur or ban on hire of employees, will be eliminated.
4. We will restore true private land ownership for Belarusians
Private ownership, securely defended by law and independent court, is the basis of healthy and free economy. At the same time, private land ownership is the basis of private ownership. Soviet practice of law still prevails in Belarus, which almost liquidates private land ownership: the primary (title) object of ownership is the building, to which the parcel of land is “attached to”. This legal nonsense deters economic development and land doesn’t serve as an object of economic exchange.
Land is the main Belarusian wealth, the basis of national capital. Today this capital is used carelessly, as private land ownership exists only in a written form – in practice, the owner can’t dispose his/her land without officials’ approval and local authorities could arbitrarily sequestrate citizens’ parcels of land. The most outrageous is the fact that incumbent Belarusian government gladly hands round Belarusian land to dubious foreign investors and denies this right to Belarusians. True private land ownership can make Belarusians effective owners and become the driving force of the economy. However, this will become possible only when land is a full-fledged market object and a subject of actual civil turnover. Then owners (owners of enterprises or Belarusian citizens) will be able to take up land loans or lease land, Belarusians will be able to freely buy and sell parcels of land, run households without officials’ orders, build houses or manufactures on it and then pass it on to their descendants.
Transition to private land ownership should be conducted in three ways: through sale, restoration in accordance with shares in collective farms and restitution. Primary claims should be claims of people, who were deprived of land earlier. If it is technically impossible to return land in kind, a claimant receives an indemnity payment. When a claim is settled, a parcel of land is put up for auction and sold.
During the period of economic reforms, only citizens of Belarus should have the right to free purchase of land.
Special Law on Privatization of Land will ensure that the process is transparent and fair.
5. We will diversify energy supplies
Energy security is an extremely important issue for our country. It determines the level of our actual independence. We will build this energy security together with those, whom we share common interests with – the countries of the Baltic and Black Sea region.
For the purpose of implementing this scenario, the BPF Party proposes the following recommendations and first-priority actions:
1. Revision and improvement of the Program of activities on energy efficiency, reduction of energy consumption and shift to local fuels, which is being implemented by the current authorities
2. Building of a new refinery in Navapolatsk, focused on high-gravity oil
3. Organization of raw materials supplies, whose characteristics are similar to heavy oil, qualified for refining on existing Belarusian refineries, from Oman and Iran
4. Formation of a compensation fund, necessary for mitigation of the results of the new energy policy.
6. We will create conditions for homecoming of Belarusians, who work abroad
Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians are forced to leave Belarus and work abroad because of poor economic situation and arbitrary rule of officials. Belarusian authorities’ declarations, that there is no unemployment here, are far from reality. Unemployment is simply hidden by the big numbers of able-bodied citizens moving abroad for work.
Another negative element of labour immigration is departure of the best middle and senior-level employees. Managers are attracted by higher salaries and opportunities for free self-realization. Archaistic corporate culture, when initiative is punished, dominates on many Belarusian enterprises.
In order to overcome the above-mentioned negative trends, the BPF Party will do the following:
- ease private initiative and create conditions for emergence of thousands of new small enterprises;
- normalize the system of salaries, when good work is paid respectively;
- further adoption of the best practices of creative self-realization from all over the world – initiative should be rewarded!
The BPF Party will ensure that all the necessary conditions are created and by all means further returning of the European Humanitarian University back to Belarus, as well as return of all Belarusian media, whose editorial stuff is forced today to partially or fully work abroad.
The BPF Party will also further return of the descendants of our compatriots, who had left Belarus, before our state independence was restored, through adoption and implementation of the respective Law “On the Card of Compatriot – Belarusian from Abroad”.
7. We will support family institution and stop dying out of Belarusian nation
Starting from 1994, population of Belarus has steadily decreased from more than 10,3 million to 9,5 million of citizens. The slowdown of this trend was fixed only in 2011-2012. Belarusian authorities once declared the aim to increase the number of Belarusian population to 20 million people. Despite substantial material resources, directed at this aim, it still remains only a theoretical one.
The BPF Party states that demographics could be improved, only when people see the prospects for their development in the country, which is an independent one. Only reliance on a spiritually and materially strong family can change the situation. Spiritual foundation is based on Christian cultural heritage. We also stand for the creation of conditions for development of private schools, including those based on Christian values and culture. We propose the easing of private initiative, simplified procedure for activity of family enterprises, tax benefits for large families, as well as provision of large families with housing. Without performance of these tasks, it is impossible to decrease the number of divorces and abortions, which ruin the future of this country, and stop the dying out of the Belarusian nation.
8. We will protect the environment
The BPF Party stands for the actual monitoring of the radioactive pollution of Belarusian territory, which should be conducted by the representatives of Belarusian and international environmental organizations; working out of the up-to-date map with due regard for the change of the composition of radioactive nucleotides. We stand for the withdrawal of land plots, which were groundlessly put to use, from the economic turnover; ban on the existing practice, when polluted food products are diluted with pure ones.
It’s necessary to resume regular medical check-up of the population from the polluted and frontier territories. Together with international medical and scientific centers, we should broaden the researches on the distant effects of the Chernobyl accident (oncological, hereditary, chromosomal diseases).
In order to improve the environmental situation and preserve the authentic distinctiveness of Belarus, the BPF Party proposes to stop melioration of swamps and restrain peat extraction.
The BPF Party stands for the maximum usage of renewable energy and reduce of the carbon dependence of Belarusian economy. That’s why we propose imposition of tax benefits and bonuses for business entities, which use solar, wind and other alternative sources of energy. We stand for the duty-free import of electric cars. We will support companies, which will be involved in the organization of infrastructure for electrocars. We stand for the return of 50% of the customs fee to buyers of hybrid cars (environmental bonus).
9. We will support healthy life-style
Healthy life-style is a must for sustainable development of the society.
The BPF Party stands for the ban on production of any other goods with the same names as used by producers of alcohol and tobacco goods. Sale of low-alcohol beverages should be taken out from common space of shopping centers into separate departments. We propose to decrease the excise on natural grape wines and at the same time increase the excises on low-alcohol carbonated beverages (excluding beer), fruit and berry wines and hard drinks.
The BPF Party will adopt the legislative norm on obligatory indication of percentage composition on packing of all goods.
The BPF Party will adopt the legislative norm, according to which every employee will have the right not to go to work for health reasons for up to 5 days during a year, without visits to medical institutions and by agreement with the employer.
The BPF Party stands against the practice, when medical institutions and pharmacies are forced through administrative means to buy pharmaceutical products of domestic production. Equal access to markets for any pharmaceutical company is vital for ensuring of citizens’ right to comprehensive health care.
The BPF Party stands for the abolition of financing of professional sport clubs from the budgets of all levels. Money, which will become available after this step, should be spent on the development of children’s and juvenile sport.
10. We will improve Belarusian health care system
The BPF Party stands for the increase of financing of Belarusian health care system from 4% to average European rates of 6-8% of GDP.
The BPF Party considers it necessary to reform primary health care through the development of general domiciliary medical practices, both state and private, which will help to make medical care more accessible and improve its quality.
The BPF Party considers the system of requisitions in state medical institutions, which are called “paid services”, to be unacceptable and will do its best to abolish it. The BPF Party will further the development of the network of private medical institutions and institutions on self-supporting basis in order to develop competition on the market of medical services and improve their quality.
The BPF Party stands for the development of different types of medical insurance in Belarus and proposes to impose obligatory insurance of professional responsibility for medical workers.
11. We guarantee that accumulative parts of pensions will be demised
Now there is a so-called solidarity pension system in Belarus – today’s workers pay for today’s retirees. The state exacts from workers huge money into the Population Social Security Fund and uses it uncontrolledly. At the same time, under the guise of pension reform the state has raised the retirement age, which is now almost higher than the average life span. It’s obvious that the government doesn’t want to lose the accumulated pension funds, which it uses as if it were its own funds. It’s necessary to abolish the raise of the retirement age and proceed to the reformation of the pension system.
The BPF Party stands for the transition to the accumulative pension system, when pension contributions are accumulated for the whole period of service and then paid to workers, when they retire. We also stand for the descent of the accumulative parts of pensions, when pensioners’ relatives have the right to receive the remaining parts of pension contributions, if pensioners die.
12. We will support development of native language, national education and culture
Belarusian language is the basis for the survival of the Belarusian nation, existence of the Belarusian state is impossible without it. The BPF Party stands for the restoration of its status of a single state language; for the revival of the education system in Belarusian language – from preschools to universities. At the same time, we will ensure the rights and opportunities to study in and freely use native languages for national minorities – Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians and others. We will take administrative and financial measures to encourage the media, book publishers, cultural institutions (theatres, cinemas, concerts, etc.) to use Belarusian language. We will restore additional payments for teaching in Belarusian language in preschools, schools and universities.
The BPF Party stands for the abolition of the all-out contractual system for teachers; abolition of teachers and students’ compulsory participation in election campaigns and pseudo-public associations; abolition of coercive subscription to the state media. We stand for the legislative ban on forcing teachers to do work, which is not related to the educational process.
We stand for the development and strengthening of educational process participants’ self-organization – for full-fledged school councils; parent-teachers’ councils; true, independent from administrations teachers’ trade unions; student self-government. We stand for the election of school principals and university chancellors.
We stand for the spreading of computer technologies and based on them up-to-date educational methods in the educational process.
Job placement of students for them to get their first work experience should be exclusively voluntary.
The BPF Party stands for the preservation and popularization of Belarusian cultural values as an inherent part of European civilization values. For these purposes, the BPF Party will seek the revision of the tax system in order to encourage local and foreign sponsorship; changes of policies in the field of protection of historical and cultural heritage in order to ensure its true preservation and restoration; working out of the state program on the study of Belarusian cultural treasures, which are now in other countries, and their return to Belarus.
13. We will support national symbols
The BPF Party stands for the cancellation of the results of the disgraceful referendum 1995 and the restoration of the centuries-old Belarusian national symbols – Pahonia coat of arms and white-red-white flag – as state ones.
In order to achieve this aim, together with popularization of Belarusian national symbols, the BPF Party will seek the recognition of the white-red-white flag as an intangible historical and cultural value, which is protected by the state; strict observance of the provisions of the Law on protection of historical and cultural heritage, when it comes to Pahonia coat of arms, which is officially recognized as a historical and cultural value.
14. We will restore democracy and rule-of-law state
It is the top-priority task to lay down the principles of legality and separation of powers. Belarus should become a rule-of-law state. In a democratic state, authorities should answer for their mistakes at elections: if you made a mistake, then leave. Officials should obey the law, courts should be independent from officials’ decrees. Laws should be above presidential decrees. Persecution on political grounds should be stopped and criminals punished. Freedom of speech should guarantee that citizens know the true situation in the country. The media and journalists should be free from the state pressure and shouldn’t be afraid to speak about the facts of corruption in the authorities.
We will restore a true self-governance. We will return the right to form and control the respective executive and administrative bodies to local councils of deputies. We will confer the right to directly elect heads of local executive committees to residents of towns and regions.
Fight against corruption should be the top priority for the parliament and the government. Honest public servants shouldn’t be afraid of the BPF Party coming to power. If you haven’t stolen, you won’t be behind bars!
15. We will withdraw from Eurasian Union
Thoughtless binding of the Belarusian economy to the Eurasion Union is the reason for current economic problems. Our economic policies are now determined by the Kremlin bureaucrat and corruptioner, who every day invents new restrictions and sanctions, which damage Belarusian industry and Belarusian consumers. Excessive and reckless focus on Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan prevents Belarusian enterprises from development and discovery of new markets in Europe and all around the world. The Kremlin’s venturesome policies and hopes for eternal oil and gas superprofits have led Russian economy to collapse. Now this Russian “Titanic” drags Belarus along – to the slough of economic crisis, poverty, unemployment and industrial collapse.
Withdrawal from the Eurasian Union, Customs Union, Union State and other integrational formations, which have turned into the sinecures for officials, will let Belarus independently determine its policies, securing Belarusian people’s interests instead of interests of Russian oligarchs.
Securely equipped and controlled border with Russia will allow to stop the flows of crime, illegal immigration and drugs, which now freely pass through transparent Eastern border, kill our youth and serve as sources of profit for tied to Moscow criminal clans.
16. We will withdraw from the CSTO, strengthen Belarusian military forces and national security system
In order to prolong its existence, the regime sells not only our property, but also our security. Belarus should withdraw from the so-called Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) –the structure, founded for the promotion of Moscow imperialistic ambitions, which could lead Belarus to war.
Being the CSTO member, Belarusians are under the threat of being drawn into military conflicts in Central Asia, as well as all around the world, where incumbent Russian imperialistic government unleashes or meddles in military conflicts. Moreover, as Belarus is the CSTO member, there is a threat that Asian or Russian military forces can be used on our territory, against Belarusian citizens as well. Membership in the CSTO also impedes modernization of Belarusian military forces.
Every sovereign state should have functioning, well-supplied military forces as a guarantee for national security and independence of the country. The strength of military forces depends not only on good supply with modern and efficient arms, ammunition and food. Military strength mostly depends on soldiers’ high moral spirit, which is based on patriotism, glorious military traditions, gained in battles for defense of our Motherland.
For more than 2 years, we have been able to notice significant increase of threats to Belarusian national security from Russian chauvinistic circles and pro-Russian imperialistic organizations and groups inside our country. There is strong political, economic and informational pressure on both Belarusian authorities and Belarusian society for the purpose of furtherance of the Kremlin’s interests in Belarus. All around the country Russia founds and backs the network of organizations, which are not only active in aggressive anti-Belarusian propaganda, but which could also become sources of instability and violence against interests of Belarusian people and Belarusian state.
In order to secure peace on our Belarusian land and reduce the threat of a hybrid war against Belarus, the BPF Party stands for the ban on the activity of already registered in our country pro-Russian organizations, whose activity evidently contradicts Belarusian national interests, for the legislative ban on the activity of Russian foundations and organizations, which finance activity of such structures, and for the block of other financial sources for them.
We stand for the imposition of criminal responsibility for any public pronouncements, which call in question or deny the existence of a separate Belarusian nation and/or its historical right to establish its own state.
The BPF Party stands for the foundation of quality national TV channels, for the ban on broadcast of civil, political and news programs, created by Russian TV channels, for the expansion of informational space by means of TV channels from all the neighbouring countries.
17. We will remove foreign military facilities from Belarus
The term of the deployment of Russian military facilities in Belarus ends in 2020, which are the communication center in Vileika and the radar station near Baranavichy. Russia doesn’t pay for the deployment of these facilities on our land, vice versa, it demands the deployment of another airbase here, trying to turn Belarus into the springboard for its troops. Therefore, Belarusians can become hostages of Putin’s military ventures – this can’t be tolerated. Our country will be a potential target, until Russian military facilities are removed from Belarusian land.
Military facilities of the Russian Federation should be removed from Belarus. Deployment of a Russian airbase on the territory of Belarus contradicts the Constitution and this can’t be tolerated.
18. We will make Belarus join World Trade Organization
The BPF Party stands for mutually beneficial cooperation with international financial institutions, sets the task to make Belarus join the World Trade Organization (WTO). There are 162 member-countries in the organization. When Belarus joins the WTO, markets of these countries will become more accessible for the sale of goods from Belarusian enterprises.
All the countries around are now members of the WTO and can freely trade with all world. Only Belarus is slow in joining the most prominent in the world agreement on free trade. That’s why our enterprises don’t have the opportunities to find new markets and consumers don’t have access to quality and inexpensive goods. As a result, Belarusian economy appears to be locked in the Eurasian reservation like in prison. All Belarusian neighbours are in the WTO and through negotiations protect their interests, while Belarus is deprived of this opportunity and each year of delay throws us far back.
19. We will strengthen partnership and cooperation in Baltic-Black Sea Union
Belarus as a country has developed in the family of free nations of Eastern Europe for almost the whole period of its history. Between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, our ancestors lived together with the ancestors of current Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Poles, Czechs and Slovaks. Now this territory is called Intermarium or the Baltic-Baltic Sea Union.
The BPF Party has always stood for the commonwealth of countries of the Baltic-Black Sea region. Today the interests of all Intermarium countries coincide more than ever. We again face the Russian threat, while the countries of Western Europe are passive in strategic and geopolitical issues and inclined to reach agreements with dangerous regimes for the sake of fake and short-term peace. In this situation, only the union of equal countries can ensure stable and sustainable peace in our region of Europe.
We will restore European values – democratic elections, separation of powers, visa-free regime and integration into the EU market. We will revive the National state with Belarusian language, culture and symbols, strong economy, up-to-date health care, European education in Belarusian language.
We will do it in a different way! We will do it better!
© 2012 THE BNF PARTY. All rights reserved. Reprints are allowed only by using hyperlinks to narodny.org