Myasnikovich’s Government: no resignation threat
President Lukashenko spoke about possible changes in the government, headed by Prime Minister Myasnikovich, due to economic failures.
Since Mikhail Myasnikovich has become Belarus Prime Minister, Lukashenko has raised the Government’s resignation issue from time to time. Yet President Lukashenko lacks the candidates for the Prime Minister’s post, as well as other members of the Government. Besides, changes in the Government will not improve the situation in the economy, which requires structural reforms. Lukashenko cannot afford reforms ahead of the presidential elections in 2015. In the near future, President Lukashenko will not make radical shifts in the Government.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.