Belarusian shadow government defined their strategy
On June 1, the Organising Committee of the National Revival Rada published a memorandum on their goals and aims of their activities. The members of Rada are several former officers of law enforcement agencies.
The initiative to establish a government in exile acquires more meaning and is becoming more organised. The project is launched under conditions when there is no political support inside and outside Belarus.
An important achievement in the process of creation of a shadow government was statutory meetings held in April-May 2012. According to Vladzimir Baradach, approximately thirty people took part in the meetings, mostly they were the Belarusian refugees who used to work in law enforcement agencies.
A next step was to prepare and publish a memorandum. The fact that the memorandum was introduced to general public without gaining support from influential politicians indicates that the initiators of the project set to lower ambitions.
Despite the negotiations with several opposition leaders and movements, none of the politicians has openly agreed to join the initiative. It therefore signals that the project lacks a “face” not only in terms of a recognisable political leader, but also “arms and legs” in terms of even minimal mobility of human resources.
The memorandum gives traditional evaluation of Belarusian reality: Lukashenko’s regime is illegitimate and needs to be changed; there is a need for economic reforms etc. Also, the authors of the document suggest challenging the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Belarusian authorities and carry out re-privatization of Belarus’ assets in the interests of the Belarusian people.
The latter objective is quite relevant, especially with regard to an ongoing privatization in Belarus. For example, after Belarus had sold a 50% stake in Beltransgas to Gasprom in November 2011, it was repeatedly stated in the media that the transaction costs were reduced. It contradicts the rule of law; therefore the transaction can be revised. It is clear that to do so, Lukashenko’s regime should be significantly weaker, which is not yet the case.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.