Belarusian leadership demonstrates fatigue with ‘reformists’ for lack of successes
President Lukashenka strengthens the positions of conservative-minded state managers, who focus on relations with Russia and Soviet practices in the humanitarian field. Apparently, the fight in the nomenclature for further socio-economic development strategy and cultural choice has deteriorated. Most likely, the president is discontent with the lack of progress in ending the economic crisis by the reformists and is ready to resume the conservative management approach.
The president last week promoted two deputy heads of Minsk executive committee head Shorets.
The president’s appointments were perceived ambiguously in Belarusian society, and some even caused a public outcry. For instance, people sharply criticised the appointment of a Communist party member, Karpenko, who is well known for his dedication to the Soviet system and attempts to counteract the ‘belarusisation’ in Minsk, as the Education Minister.
Before becoming the Education Minister, Karpenko was responsible for the state ideology in the Minsk City Administration, which prompted many analysts to believe that Belarus might take a u-turn to Soviet ideological practices and/or hold a referendum to extend the presidential and the parliament’s terms. Apparently, the integration of the Belarusian educational system in the Bologna process, started by the outgoing Minister, could be suspended. That said, the president has somewhat balanced out the situation in the humanities by appointing Karliukevich, former head of Zviazda, Belarusian-speaking holding, as Deputy Information Minister.
Most likely, unsuccessful attempts of reformers in the government to drive the country from the social and economic crisis have prompted the country leadership’s nostalgia and a desire to strengthen ideology in social sphere.
Overall, amid lingering social and economic crisis, the Belarusian leadership aims to boost positions of conservative-minded executives from ideological administration in the upper echelons of power.
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.