Due to limited resources Belarusian opposition is unlikely to nominate many candidates in upcoming elections
‘The Right to Elect 2015’ Election Observation Campaign to the State Control Committee requesting to bring to administrative liability Central Election Commission officials for ignoring collective proposals for changes in the electoral legislation. Unlike negotiations about the single candidate nomination, the opposition cooperation on election observation has been rather effective. Eight oppositional organisations have agreed to organise election observation: initiators of the ‘People’s Referendum’, Belarusian Christian Democracy, ‘Green’ party, independent trade union REP and the organizing committee for creating the Freedom and Progress party. While some opposition leaders have already announced their intention to become candidates in the upcoming presidential elections, many have not yet made a final decision and are seeking additional funds and activists for the campaign. Some opposition parties do not plan to support any one of the potential candidates, and many opposition activists will focus on election observation. In any case, the CEC will screen all candidates and may not register the most inconvenient for the government.
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.