Presidential candidate Alexander Lukashenka dominates information space
Lukashenka has waived the right to appear on the state TV with his election programme as a presidential candidate and has not yet filed a request to participate in the TV debates with other candidates. However, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists Monitoring, the incumbent president dominates in the state media coverage of the elections, occupying up to 80% of the broadcast and of the state newspapers’ space. The head of state is attempting to keep a large distance between him and other candidates and is not participating in the campaigning events. However, his team has pursued an aggressive campaign, including covert propaganda. The main objective of the incumbent president’s campaign is to create an impression of inevitability of Lukashenka’s re-election.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.