Authorities increase social spending ahead of 2015 presidential campaign

April 22, 2016 19:03

President Lukashenko has criticized the Health Ministry for adopting a decision concerning the new drug prescription rules and reminded once again that by late 2015, half of all medicines sold in pharmacies should be manufactured in Belarus. In addition, the government will increase spending on healthcare (and education) in 2015 - 16.6% more has been budgeted on healthcare and 16.8% more on education (compared with 2014). Wide response and public dissatisfaction with the quality of healthcare services, as well as socio-political initiatives on the national level (’People’s Referendum’) and in the regions aiming to draw attention to the state’s social policy reform, have prompted the authorities to revise their approach and increase funding in some spheres. However, after the presidential campaign the government might continue reducing social guarantees to the population, with the most significant changes coming in the first years after the election.

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Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
September 18, 2017 10:43
Фота носіць ілюстрацыйны характар. Источник: https://dobromirole.blogspot.com.by Читать далее: http://www.b-g.by/society/4-chamu-pra-smyarotnae-pakaranne-belarus-paslya-razmovyi-bresce-z-alesem-byalyack-m/

The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.