Lukashenko strengthens public officials’ discipline in countdown to presidential campaign
The Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation against two Vice- Chairman of the Gomel regional executive committee on charges of corruption and abuse of power and official authority. In addition, there were some staff shifts in the State Security Committee (KGB), including replacement of the Grodno regional head. Recent trends include intensified anti-corruption campaign and permutations in power bodies. Influenced by events in Ukraine and the lack of progress in socio-economic development, President Lukashenko is strengthening discipline and loyalty among public officials and security forces before the presidential campaign kicks off. The president seeks to strengthen the loyalty of security agencies by staff-rotations and tightening the screws for public officials.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.