Belarusian presidential elections: having numerous candidates would weaken positions of promising candidates
Civil activist from Kobrin, Ales Mekh, deputy head in the new movement "For Statehood and Independence of Belarus", led by Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, has announced his intention to become a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. As elections draw closer, more and more political activists declare their intention to become presidential candidates, which demobilises and fractions the opposition. However, the majority of those willing to become candidates are likely to fail at the initial stage – the collection of signatures. In addition, a large number of opposition candidates may drag activists from stronger opposition leaders thereby weakening their campaigning potential.
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.