Belarusian nomenclature steps up fight for Parliament seats
Independent analysts have noted increased competition within the state apparatus for the seats in the Belarusian parliament. For example, management of the Belaya Rus quango has announced plans to nominate their representatives in all 110 districts. However, the president is jealous of Belaya Rus functionaries’ attempts to monopolize the selection or coordination of parliamentarians and usually gives them a certain quota in the legislative body. Apparently, the debate between supporters of market reforms and conservatives in the government had an impact on the internal atmosphere in the state apparatus and deteriorated competition among nomenclature groups. Most likely, the parliament has gained popularity among public officials due to the president’s intention to carry out further ‘optimisation’ of the state apparatus. In addition, the president has stepped up the anti-corruption activity and set unattainable tasks for the economy amid anticipated deeper recession. Meanwhile, high completion among public officials for deputy seats is unlikely to lead to greater pluralism in the parliament after the election campaign. The authorities are likely to put together the "single list" of their candidates when campaigning kicks off.
Image: Benjamin Bachmair
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.