Opposition parties to put up several candidates in city districts
Tell the Truth! campaign has nominated 29 candidates for deputies to the Parliament, of which two thirds have not been engaged in politics until now. With the exception of the centre-right coalition including the UCP, BCD and For Freedom movement, the rest of the opposition structures will carry out independent parliamentary campaigns with own candidate lists. That said, Statkevich’s initiative to establish a more integrated structure with mandatory decisions for all members and a governing body based on the permanent advisory council of democratic forces has not gained popularity among the opposition. In large cities, opposition groups are likely to nominate several candidates per constituency, at least, at the first stage of the Parliamentary campaign (collection of signatures and nomination of candidates).
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.