‘People’s referendum’ may become opposition’s main strategy during presidential election

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April 22, 2016 18:58

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.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
October 02, 2017 11:49
Image: Catholic.by

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.

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