Monthly Archive: June 2001


IISEPS News, N 2 (20), 2001 Content: Preface Belarus: prospects in XXI century: Results of a national public opinion poll Open Forum: S. Domash, member of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus, head of Grodno Regional Association “Ratusha” It is necessary to revive sence of master Bookshelf: V. Dorokhov, head of …

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1. Title of the study: Belarus: prospects in the XXI century”.
2. Topics of thematic coverage: political, social and economic factors of transformations of Belarusian society, preparation to presidential elections.
3. The aim: to study the most important facilitators and obstacles of development of Belarusian society, to support Belarusian democratic forces for social transformations
4. Descriptors: market, economic attitudes, socio-political positions and attitudes, integration, free and democratic election, electoral behavior, opposition, political preferences, political parties, mass media
5. Comparability: most important questions were replicated
6. Geographical area: Belarus-national
7. Principal investigator: IISEPS
8. Polling organization: IISEPS, P.O.B. 219, Minsk, 220030, Belarus, e-mail:
9. Fieldwork dates: 2001, June
10. Population sampled: 18+ years old residents of Belarus who are not currently in hospital, jail, military service
11. Sampling: clustered random
12. Sample size: 1499 respondents
13. Mode of interviews: face-to-face interview
14. Interviewers: part-time and university students
15. Control: selective control of interviewers
16. Related publications: more then 10 publications in mass media
17. Availability of the original data sets: contact with IISEPS
18. Source of information: IISEPS



As the survey data shows, three fourth of our fellow citizens understand that improvements are possible in our country only in the distant future (see Table 1).
Table 1. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you believe that the situation in Belarus would improve soon or it would take a long time?”


As for an optimal topic for election campaigning among voters, it is necessary to bear in mind that any demonstration of political activity they regard in a restrained manner. More than half of respondents said that people in our country are afraid to express their political views (see Table 1). Among problems, which the future president should solve first of all, respondents mentioned economic, rather than political problems (see Table 2). Then follows the problem of law (though far behind), and then – corruption in the government and crime. It is noteworthy that fight against corruption, which became the key issue of A. Lukashenko’s election campaign seven years ago, could hardly be very efficient again. For A. Lukashenko it seems stupid to fight corruption after so many years of almost autocratic ruling. And in order to stir the society up the opposition will need more sensational information, even more scathing than the notorious Torgexpo case.


Analyzing results of authorities’ propagandistic actions, which are being carried out within the framework of the presidential campaign, their low efficiency must be noted. We remember how much time and money was spent on praising a symbol of ingenious democracy – the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. And what is the result? More than three fourth of respondents took no part in that event, and more than 15% heard nothing about it (see Table 1). Moreover, voters assess its possible results rather modestly – about 15% think they would positively affect the situation in the country, whereas more than 40% said the Assembly is unlikely to change the situation (see Table 2).


None of serious participants of the ongoing election campaign has recently denied influence of the so-called Russian factor upon results of the presidential election. It should be noted that attitude of the majority of voters towards Russia-Belarus integration has remained steadily positive for a long time. After V. Putin came to power in Russia, Belarus’s public opinion made a significant sway towards support of integration as an idea, because in reality, in real politics everything is not so bright. To all appearance, V. Putin’s phenomenon potential, which caused an increase in integration sympathy, has already passed its peak, however, pro-Russian moods remain rather string (see Tables 1, 2). Integration with Russia, as an abstract idea, sometimes irrespective of its practical realization, finds support with the majority of electorate. Candidates must not doubt this fact, if they do not want to go against the stream.


The survey data shows that the absolute majority of adult population (86.8%) is going to take part in the presidential election (see Table 1). In April the figure was only 70.3%. That means the interest in the election is growing.


As the presidential election approaches, readiness of Belarus’s electorate to take part in it is increasing: 86.8% of respondents answered this question in the affirmative (only 7.1% gave a negative answer, and 6.1% found it difficult to answer this question – almost the same figures we saw in the April survey, but this time the formulation is more strict and 14.9%, who in April said they would “take decision depending on political situation”, claimed ready to vote). What does this mean? According to the authorities – that in general people support