Authorities ban more Belarusians from using the Pole’s Card
An article of the law “On a status of a local deputy” has been changed so that the local deputies can no longer use the Pole’s Card (Karta Polaka) [issued to individuals who cannot receive dual citizenship but with Polish roots], or other similar “privileges”.
The Belarusian authorities started to take action to limit use of the Pole’s Card in 2011. In 2012, the state officials, members of state security agencies, and deputies were banned from using these privileges, as well as from using similar privileges by other foreign states. Before the start of the presidential campaign of 2015, the state is continuing to enforce the loyalty of certain population groups which have some influence in Belarusian society. Most likely, the authorities will gradually increase the number of people who will be restricted from using the Pole’s card.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.