Local elections: only Minsk shows initiative, regions are virtually excluded
The local election campaign in Belarus is coming to a halt – early voting starts in 10 days. Still, the overwhelming majority of candidates have not yet started a fully-fledged election campaign – out of 22,000 candidates for deputies, as few as 490 candidates for deputies opened the score.
At that, political activity is concentrated exclusively in Minsk, participation of the regions in the electoral process is extremely low: out of 8,395 announced mass events 7,452 are held in Minsk while as few as 11% are carried out in the remaining six regions combined. So far the authorities have managed to successfully implement their electoral scenario which prevents society from being ’politicised’ at the stage of election canvassing. Mobilisation of local authorities, pro-governmental NGOs and state-run mass media is foreseen at the stage of voting to ensure the required voter turnout.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.