Belarusian opposition is set to participate in parliamentary elections
Most political parties have started compiling lists of candidates for the Belarusian parliamentary elections, which are likely to take place in early autumn of 2016. Previously, most democratic forces representatives required amendments to the electoral law as a condition of their participation in the elections. Despite the fact that the electoral law is unlikely to change, Belarusian political parties seem to have changed their position in a constructive manner – most likely due to the failure of the boycott / neglect strategy, which was extremely popular in the democratic camp during the presidential campaign, and the relative success of the only opposition candidate, Tatsiana Karatkevich. According to preliminary estimates, democratic organisations collectively may nominate about 240 candidates. They do not plan to divide constituencies among them. In addition, the loyal to the authorities Liberal Democratic Party may nominate about 110 candidates (one for each constituency). All in all, if the authorities are not too harsh with cutting off bidders, in some districts, especially in big cities, up to seven candidates may compete for a deputy seat.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.