‘People’s referendum’ may become opposition’s main strategy during presidential election
The initiators of the People’s Referendum campaign have addressed Belarus’ parliament with a petition signed by 50, 000 Belarusian citizens requesting to hold a nationwide referendum on six issues. Amid high popularity of the president, Belarusian society still has a strong interest in alternative development. According to an IISEPS poll, 45.2% of Belarusians are ready to support the People’s Referendum. Due to the crisis in Ukraine and reduced interest in ‘revolutionary’ changes in society, ‘People’s Referendum’ is so far the only strategy which could bring together supporters of peaceful change before the presidential campaign in 2015.
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.