Authorities bolster repressions against opposition ahead of presidential elections
The court has extended the prison tern to Nikolay Dedok, a political prisoner who was to be released in a few days, for a year. Currently, among political prisoners remaining behind bars is former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich and anarchists who are the most radical opponents of the government. The authorities fear of social tension growth during the 2015 presidential campaign, which is why they demonstrate their readiness to clampdown any protest activity by the opposition. Amid the ‘thaw’ in Belarusian-European relations, the authorities demonstrate with their actions that they do not intend to fulfil the main requirement for normalisation of relations with the EU, i.e. to release political prisoners.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.