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Partyja BPF
Russian:Партия БНФ
Belarusian:Партыя БНФ
Leader Alaksej Janukevich
Founded 1988
Ideology Conservatism,[1]
Liberal conservatism,
Christian democracy[1]
Belarusian nationalism
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International,
International Democrat Union (Associate member)
European affiliation European Peoples Party (Observer)
Official colours Red
Website
http://www.pbnf.org/
Politics of Belarus
Political parties
Elections

The Partyja BPF (Belarusian: Партыя БНФ, BNF Party) is a political party in Belarus. It was founded as the Belarusian (National) People's Front "Revival" or BPF (Belarusian: Беларускі Народны Фронт "Адраджэньне", БНФ, Biełaruski Narodny Front "Adradžeńnie", BNF) during the perestroika times by members of the Belarusian intelligentsia, including Vasil Bykaŭ, and Michaś Dubianiecki. Its first and most charismatic leader was Zianon Pazniak.

After a decree by president Alexander Lukashenko prohibiting the usage of the words "Belarus", "Belarusian" and "National" in the names of political parties and movements, the party had to change its name to Party BPF.

The Belarusian People's Front was established in 1988 as both, a political party and a cultural movement. Membership is open to all Belarusian citizens as well as any democratic organization. Its goals are democracy and independence through national rebirth and rebuilding after being nearly destroyed culturally and economically during the times of the Soviet Union.

The main idea of the Front was the revival of the national idea, including the rebirth of the Belarusian language. Initially its orientation was pro-Western with a great deal of scepticism towards Russia. At one moment they propagated the idea of the union from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea that would involve Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Lithuania, similar to Józef Piłsudski's "Międzymorze".

A meeting at Kurapaty in 1989 organized by the Belarusian Popular Front

Among the significant achievements of the Front was uncovering the burial site of Kurapaty near Minsk. The Front claims that the NKVD performed there its secret killings.

Initially the Front had significant visibility because of its numerous active public actions that almost always ended in clashes with police and KGB. It was the BPF's parliamentarians who made the Parliament to restore the historical Belarusian symbols: white-red-white flag and the Pahonia coat of arms. Today people are arrested in the street for wearing a white-red-white scarf.

In 1994 the BPF formed a so-called “shadow” cabinet consisting of 100 BPF intellectuals. Its first Prime Minister was Uładzimir Zabłocki. It originally contained 18 commissions that published ideas and proposed laws and plans for restructuring the government and economy. Its last economic reform proposal was published in 1999. In opposition to the Alexander Lukashenko's regime, the party supports Belarus' entry into NATO and European Union. It is an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP).

Pahonia, the historical Coat of Arms of Belarus

In late 1990s the party's radical wing under Zianon Pazniak split from the main BPF to found an independent political party - the Conservative Christian Party BPF (Kanservatyŭna-Chryścijanskaja Partyja BNF). The Party claims to be the only true BPF successor and does not recognize the "other" BPF. It also distances itself from the rest of Belarusian opposition and labels them as "regime accomplices" for the lack of action and dependence on Western grants.

At the last legislative elections, 13-17 October 2004, the party was part of the People's Coalition 5 Plus (Narodnaja Kaalicyja Piaciorka Plus), that didn't secure any seats. These elections fell according to the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission [1] significantly short of OSCE commitments. Universal principles and constitutionally guaranteed rights of expression, association and assembly were seriously challenged, calling into question the Belarusian authorities’ willingness to respect the concept of political competition on a basis of equal treatment. According to this mission principles of an inclusive democratic process, whereby citizens have the right to seek political office without discrimination, candidates to present their views without obstruction, and voters to learn about them and discuss them freely, were largely ignored.

In October 2005 Alaksandar Milinkievič, a candidate proposed by the BPF and The "green" Zialonyja party was elected common democratic candidate for presidential elections to take place in 2006.

In 2007 the party became a member of the International Democrat Union.

Current leader of the party is Alaksej Janukevich, who was elected at the XII Congress on 5 September 2009.

References

External links

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