Preparing for the 2012 Elections. Mogilev
The state of the ideological work in labor collectives of the city and measures to improve it were discussed during a regular meeting of the Mogilev City Council.
The Deputy Cchairman of the Executive Committee Igor Shardyko, said that a strategically verified system of ideological work was organized in Mogilev. Among other things, the Vice-Mayor expressed hope, “we can work out the 2012 elections in a proper manner" (at the same time he made a reservation that opposition is planning surprises).
Head of the Ideological Department of the Eexecutive Committee Alla Galushko reported that there were over 500 ideological workers in the city. In their work they use various means: traditional (lectures and seminars) and new (internet forums, etc.). Currently, the city has over 400 information and propaganda groups.
It is worth to mention that such preparations by the local authorities to the “minor” elections (i.e. Parliamentary elections in Belarus) well in advance could be explained by the reduced level of confidence of the administration in its authority. During the aforementioned meeting, the Chairman of the Mogilev City Council Stanislav Borodavko noted that “in many respects, our ideology is based on the material well-being of the citizens”, therefore he called for careful compliance with the wage growth plans. Note that the official makes this declaration when real salaries of employees of the leading regional enterprises are decreasing. Compared with salaries paid on the eve of the Presidential elections, current pay in Mogilev decreased by 300-400 thousand rubles. For instance, reduction of wages was reported by the following companies: Mogilev Heating Systems, Mogilevliftmash, Mogilev Plant Strommashina, etc.
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.