Domestic politics: the most likely trends in 2016

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April 22, 2016 19:39

In anticipation of the Russian market recovery, the government will attempt to obtain external financing from the IMF and the Eurasia Foundation for Stabilization and Development in order to maintain current social and economic policies. To this end, the authorities are ready to undertake a series of targeted and unpopular measures to curtail social protection for the population, for example, in the housing sector and the pension system.

The Belarusian authorities will tell foreign creditors that such measures are intended as elements of economic reforms, and to the population they will tell that foreign lending terms are harsh.

Nevertheless, the Belarusian authorities will not dare to make significant changes to the current socio-economic model without serious pressure from the population.

Public officials are likely to step-up the struggle for the redistribution of increasingly scarce public resources, which may result in several acute anti-corruption campaigns by the authorities, dismissal and prosecution of regional nomenklatura clans and businesses close to them.

In domestic policy, the Belarusian government is unlikely to decide to empower the opposition and enable it into the parliament and other representative bodies as a result of the elections.

The opposition environment is likely to continue reformatting and creating situational alliances before the parliamentary elections. Practically all political parties with regional structures plan to participate in the upcoming parliamentary campaign. Some leaders in exhale and opposition leaders with few human resources are likely to adhere to the boycott strategy.

Attempts of the democratic forces to unite within the frameworks of the Congress are likely to be futile. Even if the opposition manages to hold the Congress, it is unlikely to be attended by many opposition leaders and is likely to exclude many prominent opposition organizations.

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