The opposition starts a discussion about a single candidate; protest activity fades away
As usual, summer holiday season has taken its toll on the mobilisation potential of civil society organisations in Minsk and regions: protesters against the battery plant near Brest and against the restaurant near the Kurapaty massacre site have decreased in number. Centre-rightists started a discussion about a broad coalition and the nomination of a single candidate for the next presidential elections. Tell the Truth is attempting to recruit new activists in the regions through organising local activities based on the theory of small deeds.
Centre-rightists started preparations for nominating a single candidate from the coalition for the presidential elections which should take place no later than 2020. So far, they are unlikely to have a final decision and they are likely to consider the possibility for a wider coalition, which would include other parties, to nominate a "single candidate".
Centre-rightists plan to identify the leader through primaries – organise a preliminary voting by activists from partner organisations in the coalition. The leaders of the coalition members are likely to take part in the primaries, including Lebedko (UCP), Gubarevich (For Freedom) and Severinets (BChD).
Independent media have involved opinion leaders in the Kurapaty case (the construction of a restaurant near the Kurapaty massacre site) and attempted to put the case in the focus of the international community. Meanwhile, civil society organisations and political parties are having a hard time mobilising activists to stage protests near the restaurant at the Kurapaty site, which is most likely due to the vacation season. In addition, protesters are attempting to find less conflicting approaches to put pressure on the restaurant owners. MP Kanopatskaya appealed to Prosecutor General Konyuk requesting information about the changes in the boundaries of the registered cultural heritage Kurapaty, which is likely to strengthen her positions among the National Democrats.
The regional protest movement against the construction of a battery plant near Brest has faded too, as compared with the spring, albeit local residents continue to stage unauthorized events in Brest. The authorities remain deaf to the protesters’ demands and insist that such protests near the construction site are illegal.
Overall, amid limited mobilisation capacity due to the summer holiday season, civil society organisations tend towards less confrontational forms of pressure on the authorities and business in the regions ( eg against the battery plant near Brest and the restaurant near the Kurapaty site).