Monthly Archive: February 2003

BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 2

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2003 (only Russian) Content: Introduction Theme of the month: Recognition of Chamber of Representatives’ power in PA OSCE: procedure wins, politics loses? Person of the month: Eberhard Heyken: a new person faces the old problems Document of the month: Policy statement of parliamentry group “Rebublic”: declaration of …

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THIRD PRESIDENTIAL TERM: ELITE’S VIEWPOINT

It has been almost 1.5 years of A. Lukashenko’s second presidential cadence. There’s still plenty of time before the new election that is to take place in 2006. Yet, the issue of A. Lukashenko’s third presidential term has already become topical for the educated Belarusian (and not only!) public. Lukashenko himself has many times transparently implied the possibility of such scenario. Knowing power ambitions of the president, it is worth seriously regarding his words.

RUSSIA-BELARUS RELATIONS IN THE EYES OF ELITE

As seen from Table 1, almost all polled experts and public opinion leaders (94%!), regardless the structures they represent, stand against the idea of Russia-Belarus unification into a single state. Half of them supports the idea of a close political and economic union between the two countries. Another half believes the relations should not differ from those with the other CIS countries. Representatives of the public sector prefer the first variant, while representatives of the private sector support the second variant.

ELITE BELIEVES IN THE SUCCESS OF INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES. BUT IT DOESN’T EXPECT THE OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN TO MATCH THE ORIGINAL RESULTS

Although this time the authorities didn’t pay much attention to the election campaign into the local Councils of deputies, the polling data steadily points out that the Belarusians are ready to demonstrate high election activity (According to the IISEPS’s public opinion poll carried in December, about 64% of the respondents noted they would participate in the election.) If suggest that most of those who hadn’t made up their minds on voting in December (they were almost 20%) would come to polling stations, the optimism of experts and public opinion leaders (who claimed a month before the election that the campaign would be effective in most constituencies) turns quite reasonable (See Table 1).

BELARUSIAN ELITE DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

The fact that the current socio-economic situation in Belarus is, to put it mildly, far from ideal has been recently admitted at the highest official level. Leaders of public opinion and experts well aware of the real state of affairs in economics and who have long ago acknowledged that the so-called “Belarusian economic model” has no future consider further prospects really gloomy. About three thirds of the respondents expect deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the coming years (See table 1). Respondents from the private sector have unanimously rejected the probability of any changes to better life while the cautious stance of every fifth representative of the public sector resembles the professional optimism.