Opposition to identify strategies for 2015 presidential elections
The opposition has resumed negotiations to nominate a single candidate in the 2015 presidential elections.
However, now they lack a clear vision of how to transform the Belarusian regime. Influenced by the events in Ukraine, the opposition started revising the ‘Belarusian maidan’ scenario and feasibility of mass protests on the Election Day. The probability of the opposition choosing a single candidate for the 2015 presidential election is decreasing, as pessimism about the regime change in 2015 among the opposition grows. The number of potential presidential candidates in 2015 will depend on their ability to attract the necessary financial and human resources.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.