A new development stage in the left forces’ coalition
On April 17th in Minsk, “Green” Party, “Fair World” Belarusian Left Party and the organizing committee of the Belarusian Labour Party leaders held a joint press conference.
So far, the political coalition between the leftist parties is limited to the creation of an informal ideological leftist platform. However, there is some progress in the building up of a coalition, which is evidenced by joint public appearances of the left-wing parties’ leaders.
The leftist platform was created on April 12th, at a joint meeting of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), Belarusian Left Party “Fair World”, “Green” Party and the organizing committee of the Belarusian Labour Party. This platform is not a formal political bloc, rather a framework for joint actions by ideologically close forces.
The ‘Platform’ declared a joint action to be held on May 1st, as well as the creation of a leftist information web portal. Organizers said the platform would not have a formal leader. However, on April 17th, during the press conference they did not rule out the nomination of a single leftist candidate for the 2015 presidential elections.
Inside the Belarusian opposition, coalitions form due to both, the political momentum (upcoming local and presidential elections) and the lack of human and financial resources which the opposition parties and movements could contribute individually. The most explicit distinctive feature of the Platform is that it is ideologically orienting towards the promotion of social-democratic values and workers’ rights’ protection.
Political capacities of the new leftist platform (as well as the ‘trio’s’ BPF, For Freedom and Tell the Truth and other opposition groups and individual players) will be tested soon – during the local elections in 2014. The 2012 Parliamentary campaign has demonstrated that the opposition is more prone to scattered actions, rather than preserving coalitions before, during and after the elections.
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.