IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 4 (50), 2008




Parliamentary elections-2008
The main election results in the context of socio-demographic groups
Some results of the opinion poll conducted in October

A difficult year
In search of a strategical direction
Logic of anxious expectations
In search of the one to blame
A firm tin soldier
Not our crisis
The long travel wind
Homo well-informed
The final diagnosis
What kind of party is it?
Geopolitical coordinates of Belarus
Some results of the opinion poll conducted in December


“An irreplaceable source of the most valuable information”


Alexander Klaskowsky
Heroism of our time: to be a citizen among “the population”

Mikhail Plisko
“The suffrage of the Republic of Belarus”

Prof. Mikhail Pastukhov, Ph. D.
“The right to life and prohibition of tortures: European standards and legislation of the Republic of Belarus”


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention a regular issue of the “IISEPS News” bulletin. It is not a usual issue, but a jubilee one, the 50th, which means that the bulletin has been appearing uninterruptedly for over 12 years! And each issue contains several dozens pages of analytical materials which our researchers prepare quarterly especially for you.
In this issue your attention is called to the materials which reflect the most important findings of the IISEPS studies in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Data of the October national opinion poll presented in the given issue confirmed the assumptions about the appearance and voting results which had been forecasted following the results of the September and other earlier opinion polls. Simultaneously they showed a considerable discrepancy with the official data announced by the Central Election Committee. Such things happen systematically, and in view of it the obstinate reluctance of the authorities to include representatives of all election process participants, especially of the opposition, into election committees speaks for itself.
Results of the national opinion polls conducted by the Institute in October and December verified the fact that the Belarusians began to become aware of the inevitability of the spreading out economic crisis in spite of bravura assurances of the country’s leadership. We may say that the crisis has already entered the public consciousness, and even the immediate information of the state statistical committee confirmed some of its manifestations in the Belarusian daily life.
As it turned out, the hidden motive of the Belarusian crisis was economic rather than financial. Belarusian financial markets are in the embryonal state that is why the crisis surge covered first of all the real sector, which heretofore had been systematically increasing the output volume of the production that did not have sufficient demand. As a result of it necrosis of the circulating capital occurred, as well as problems with repayment of credits and absence of funds for labor remuneration. Unemployment, reduction of the workweek, forced holidays without pay – are again in the air of the country.
In spite of all the efforts on the part of the authorities to prevent manifestations of the crisis, further informational distortion of the essence of what was going on stopped yielding a result. Especially since the leadership of the country has very few resources left at their disposal to maintain the so-called “stability”. They even had to ask for help such “sharks of the world’s imperialism” as the IMF and the USA.
Once again, the authorities were forced to proclaim pursuing a course of the economy “liberalization”. There is no doubt that their measures are going to be called liberalization only by the official mass media and by Belarusian diplomats “knocking out” any foreign investments. Real liberalization in the economy will inevitably entail escalation of liberalization demands in politics and social life, which the Belarusian governing bodies do not intend to allow. All they are able to agree to of their own free will are inessential indulgences, such as permission to sell a couple of opposition newspapers in kiosks, which do not change the core of the Belarusian regime.
This testifies once again to the fact that the extensively advertised “Belarusian model of the economic development” is nothing more than a propagandistic structure reflecting the understanding level of the economic processes essence by the governing body of the country headed by their leader.
Some results of the October and December opinion polls from the point of view of the main socio-demographic groups of the population are as usual presented for the most curious readers in this part.
Taking into consideration that the given issue of the bulletin is a jubilee one, the editorial staff decided to let have the floor to our readers of many years in the rubric “The open forum”. Among them there are well-known home and foreign public figures and men of science who kindly agreed to evaluate our bulletin and the activity of the Institute al-together.
The rubric “Bookshelf” in this issue is rich in reviews. Another book by a well-known publicist A. Tomkovich “Budzitsely” is presented by a not less famous journalist A. Klaskovsky. In his opinion, this book, as well as all the previous books by A. Tomkovich, is a priceless historical document which lets the subsequent generations of the Belarusians understand at what cost the normal state of human freedom has passed into the possession of our society. Neither the author, nor the reviewer, doubts that our society will comprehend it sooner or later.
The lawyer and political scientist M. Plisko presented a textbook for college students “The suffrage of the Republic of Belarus” written by S. Alfer. The author possesses abundant experience in participating in Belarusian election campaigns that is why he knows the issue both as a practical man and as a scientist-specialist which makes the book quite useful for students as well as for participants of future elections.
Another review of the recently issued book “The right to life and prohibition of tortures: European standards and legislation of the Republic of Belarus” published by lawyers-human rights activists is written by M. Pastukhov, former judge of Constitutional Court. The subject matter of this book is extremely topical for the modern Belarus, which, as it is known, still applies the capital punishment. That is why it is the reviewer’s opinion that this book is an important tool for increasing legal culture of law enforcement bodies’ employees, lawyers, human rights activists and ordinary citizens, as well as for perception and adaptation of European standards in our country.
All comments and feedbacks are as usual welcome!