Political parties seek to use society’s reformist aspirations
Amid growing support for reforms in Belarusian society, political parties are attempting to take advantage of the new opportunities in working with the population. When communicating with the authorities, Tell The Truth promotes the interests of regional activists and business groups; the BCD promotes a housing reform and has achieved a reduction in dormitories’ fees in the Mogilev region.
Tell The Truth leaders Dmitriev and Korotkevich met with the presidential administration head, Kachanova, at a public reception in Novogrudok last week. During the meeting they raised issues discussed during the three regional development forums held last month, such as extending the rights of homeowners’ partnerships; giving local residents the opportunity to participate and implement local development budgets; and expanding cooperation between local authorities and civil society.
A member of the United Civil Party, MP Kanopatskaya, has encountered opposition by local authorities in her activities, which could mean there was an order from ‘above’ to put obstacles for the opposition activity. In addition, the authorities continued to exert pressure on the UCP by expelling UCP Press Secretary Krasulina, thereby attempting to paralyse the implementation of the party’s information policy.
The Statkevich-led Belarusian National Committee published a new programme. The programme is an attempt to recruit new activists from the protest electorate. However, the Belarusian National Committee already has the image of an extremely irreconcilable opposition alliance vis-à-vis the authorities and its recruitment efforts are unlikely to succeed.
The Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) is attempting to promote reforms in the housing and utilities industry and has achieved some local success. For instance, the Mogilev authorities have met the demands of activists and reduced dormitory fees in the region. In addition, in response to the growing demand in society, the BCD is revitalizing the issue of reforms in the housing and utilities sector.
Overall, political parties’ strategies are beginning to yield some results and facilitate the formation of their agendas and enhance their influence in society.