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.
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.