LDP to remain constructive opposition after Gaidukevich's career ends
Sergei Gaidukevich has been re-elected as the head of the Liberal Democratic Party and his son is likely to run for the president. The LDP has proposed to combine the local elections and a republican referendum on changing the electoral system. In their view, domestic and international environment is favourable for a nationwide plebiscite, including the upturn in the Belarusian economy, the average wage growth and the presidential elections in Russia in March 2018. The LDP has demonstrated the desire to retain the party identity after Gaidukevich's political career ends and consolidate as constructive opposition.
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.