Parliamentarians start re-election campaign
Statement of Speaker of the Belarusian Parliament Andreychenko implies support to the Presidential Administration during the autumn Parliamentary election campaign. Given that the Belarusian Parliament has no real levers of influence on the economic policy, the statement of the Speaker has only a propaganda implication.
On 26 January while visiting the JSC Poultry Factory “Friendship”, Speaker of the Belarusian Parliament Vladimir Andreychenko said that by the end of the year incomes of Belarusians should reach the end of 2010 level.
There could be only one reason for making such populist statements, i.e. to indicate support to the Presidential Administration during the election campaign, which could guarantee the re-election to the new Parliament. Against the backdrop of the continuing crisis in the world and in Belarus, a 4-year parliamentary mandate becomes a very attractive employment contract. Within the political system of Belarus, status of an MP is associated with minimum liability and the Parliament per se has become a place where Belarusian nomenclature representatives finish their careers.
It is highly probable that Andreychenko’s colleagues in the Parliament will support the Speaker’s populist programme. The more so, some governors have already expressed their wish to take part in such “salary conspiracy”. On January 27, the governor of Mogilev region Mr. Rudnick said that by December 2012 the average wage in the region was expected to increase by 64% as compared with December 2011. Previously, similar plans to ensure an average wage of USD 500 by the end of 2012 have been voiced by Vitebsk region governor Alexander Kosinets.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.