So little time left before the voting date of March 19, the issue on agenda is not so much who will take the presidential seat (no surprises are expected here) but how defeated candidates and their supporters will behave. Adherents of changes make at least one third of all voters. This is little for victory but quite sufficient for the society and the government to start taking interests of this group into account.

It should be noted that an overwhelming majority of respondents (76.8%) doesn’t believe in possibility of Orange Revolution in Belarus in the way it happened in Ukraine. During the polling, this question was to a great extent abstract. In addition, besides the three symptoms of revolutionary situation described by V. Lenin, there wasn’t even a cause to start actions of civic disobedience.

Researches have tried to look into the future and asked the respondents the following question supposing there are grounds for this: “If you think that the presidential election is rigged, what will you do?” Respondents showed absolute unanimity and chose the passive stance: 37.1% will agree with the election results “because they cannot be changed” and 34.9% “will not believe the results and will feel really frustrated but will not take part in the mass actions of protest.”

About 9.2%, or 600 000 voters estimated, are ready to uphold their choice actively and join mass actions of protest so as to try and change the “wrong” results of the presidential election announced by the Central Election Commission. This number of people is in general enough to make revolution the reality. This is four-fold more people than population of Baranovichy and only three-fold less the population of Minsk. It is doubtful yet that all these potential revolutionaries will gather in one place (even though there were rallies of such a scale in early 90-ies) and especially that they will go under sole political slogans.

Analysis of the data about candidates for whom these determined people want to vote at the election shows that comparable quantity stands at different sides. Thus, 33.4% of respondents who will uphold their choice are going to vote for the sole democratic candidate A. Milinkevich and 25.8% – for the current president A. Lukashenko. Electorates of the two other candidates are much less: 7.9% – supporters of S. Gaidukevich, Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, and 17.5% – of A. Kozulin, Chairman of the Belarusian Social and Democratic Party Gromada.

Supposing all supporters of changes consolidate, potential members of the action of protest appear quite many. However, the goal of a quarter of revolutionaries voting for the current president is obviously different. They possibly think that “bad dukes” conspire against “good king” and announce false voting results. This is against these evil dukes that they are ready to rise. This is why they are more alike representatives of the counter-revolutionary Vendee rather than Paris monarchy breakers.

Looking at this issue from the other perspective – what this or that candidate’s electorate can do in case of a rigged election, revolutionaries don’t dominate within any of them. (See Table 1). Like the population in general, the electorate of every particular candidate chooses passive response to falsification of election results. The greatest number of those who are ready to uphold their choice is found among A. Kozulin’s supporters (25.4%) which accounts for aggressive strategy chosen by this candidate. However, support of the former head of the Belarusian State University is not so high to give grounds for mass protests under his command.

Table 1. Attitude of electorates of presidential candidates to possible falsification of election results, %

Variant of answer

Electorate of the presidential candidate and its percentage:

S. Gaidukevich (4.5)

A. Kozulin (6.4)

А. Lukashenko (58.6)

А. Milinkevich (16.5)

For none of them (6.0)

Will accept these results…






Will take part in mass protests…






Will not believe these results…






On the contrary, 18.7% of A. Milinkevich’s supporters is quite a noTable figure as it represents a third of all possible participants of protest actions. In this regards, A. Milinkevich’s diplomatic refusal from the image of revolutionary tagged by the state propaganda machine is fairly explicable: “Democratic coalition is strongly against a revolution. All we demand is a free and fair election. If this is done, no one will go into the streets. But if they again steal our victory and if they cheat at polling stations and we get to know about this on that same day, I’m sure people will go into the streets to uphold their dignity. This is not the opposition to be blamed for this, this is the authorities which will provoke such actions. On our side, if people go into the streets, we will do our best to make it a peaceful demonstration like the Constitution says. We greatly hope that the authorities will do the same and will not apply the force.” (Belorusy i Rynok, No. 8/2006 of February 27, 2006).

A. Milinkevich doesn’t burn up revolution bridges threatening with rallies of his supporters in case “our victory is stolen” but he promises peaceful and nonviolent protests. How can they look like? Let’s see if the opposition can mobilize population to stand up and uphold true election results.

As a rule, revolutions happen in capitals. In 2001, supporters of then sole democratic candidate V. Goncharik gathered at the October Square in Minsk during the count of votes but their action of protest failed to influence the announced result. The same happened after the referendum of 2004 on Constitution amendment. The protest was articulated but it wasn’t mass. Why?

According to the results of the nation opinion poll, Minsk residents as compared to other places of residence and even villages show the lowest readiness to protest actively against falsifications. At the same time, Minsk residents have a lead in the number of rallies, demonstrations and other actions of protest. Perhaps, they feel tired of such street democracy. This means that there won’t be any big stir if Minsk residents don’t wake up from political apathy and if residents of provinces don’t come into the capital to uphold their convictions and their choice. It all depends on the regions now.