Conflicts within opposition reduce chances for joint observation within "The Right of Choice" campaign
‘The Right of Choice’ election observation campaign, which united almost all opposition structures, has announced that it dismembered ‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign. After the 2015 presidential elections, opposition parties are attempting to keep away from ‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign and have expressed dissatisfaction with Karatkevich and her colleagues’ approaches to establishing a dialogue with the authorities. Yet another round of tensions among the opposition will have a negative impact on popular ratings of all opposition parties, regardless of their involvement in the conflict. In addition, conflicts in the opposition environment are likely to draw away potential activists who could participate in the election observation.
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.