TV debates to be broadcast live
The presidential candidates will participate in live TV debates on October 3, CEC chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna announced on the website vybory2015.by.
Only Syarhei Haidukevich, Tatstsyana Karatkevich and Mikalai Ulahovich have applied for participation in the debates. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is unlikely to join them. He commented on his refusal to make speeches on TV and in the radio as a presidential candidate earlier (see the video).
Despite raised hopes, a full turn toward Europe seems unlikely.
Do recent events indicate that Belarus could fully turn towards Europe and pull away from Russia politically? In the last few months, a number of developments have excited observers in international media and revitalised old debates about the former Soviet country’s future. But despite positive indications, a broader view suggests that this prediction may be overly optimistic.
In the judgment of most media freedom or democracy indexes, the Eastern European country is labelled as one of the worst in Europe and in recent years Belarus has shown no tangible progress towards establishing a free media atmosphere.