Public officials are encouraged to ensure high turnout in local elections
On February 20th, the amendments to the Law, envisaging the possibility for a public organization to be transformed into a political party, took effect.
Functionaries from the ‘Belaya Rus’ quango managed to lobby the adoption of these amendments in late 2013. In fact, the public association ‘Belaya Rus’ has been trying to become the ‘party of power’ since 2007, albeit unsuccessfully. As a rule, ‘Belaya Rus’ was strengthening its lobby ahead of the election campaigns in Belarus. President Lukashenko has no interest in such a political force emerging – he has been forced to make this symbolic concession to his officials. In response, during the 2014 local elections campaign ‘Belaya Rus’ will be responsible for ensuring high voter turnout on election day.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.