IISEPS News, N 3 (33), 2004



Strengthening Role of Independent Social Research and Experts’ Networks in Belarus:

Belarusians in everyday life: with a glass of vodka and having no sex
How to encourage the Belarusians to changes?

No illusions and no optimism
Belarus-Russia relations in the eyes of elite
Present-day traits of Belarusian elite

Results of opinion poll among pubblic opinion leaders and experts

Some results of the nation opinion poll conducted by the IISEPS in June of 2004

Open Forum:

Materials of research and analysis of the results of parliamentary elections and referendum passed Gallup-Baltic Surveys in Belarus, October 17

Yuri Drakokhrust, Radio Liberty (Prague)
The Director of Gallup-Baltic Surveys comments the results of public opinion polls of October 17, 2004 Referendum

Amb. Audrey Glover, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Mission in Belarus:
“The election didn’t meet obligations given to OSCE”


Prof. Oleg Manaev, IISEPS Director
“Evidences of Prosecuting NGO’s in Belarus”


Dear readers!


This next issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” offers to your attention materials presented the most interesting results of the institute’s studies in the third quarter of 2004. Recognizing importance of the recent parliamentary election and nation referendum, we also included into this bulletin the results of our October studies.
From social and political viewpoint, this year summer and autumn were fairly hot in Belarus. The most important events were unprecedented propaganda campaign launched by the authorities since early July, parliamentary election campaign, preparation to the referendum, voting itself (including pre-term voting) and finally the actions of protest that took place after the election and referendum and that draw attention of the world community. Certainly, all of them have been studied by IISEPS experts. Also, we took time to study the processes taking place away from political topic of the day, in the heart of Belarusian society – interpersonal relations within the family, communication, spare time activities, mobility, use of new high communication technologies. In a word, we studied everyday life of the Belarusians. It should be noted that certain results of this study are fairly surprising and even sensational. It appears that in everyday life stability is more important for most Belarusians than dynamics (perhaps, this is our national idea?) It’s not only their internal (within family) but also external (within the country) stability that point out to this. These results may bewilder or even annoy many of our readers, especially social and political activists, but we are convinced that the work in this direction might encourage millions of our country fellows to long-awaited changes.
Standpoints of public leaders and top experts also prove this general conclusion: a huge gap between the Belarusian elite and the electorate is found both in the field of socio-political and socio-economics values and in everyday life. Their mobility is not just different. This is social and technological gap that lies between them. Vast majority of the Belarusian electorate still remains Soviet patriarchal society while a greater part of the elite is ready to join “wider of Europe” and world globalization processes.
The highlight of this issue is undoubtedly the materials of our “Open Forum” in which we introduce and analyze the results of October election to the Parliament and the referendum. Memoranda of the Gallup-Baltic Surveys, world leader of public opinion surveys and many-years partner of the IISEPS, interview of its director Rasa Alisauskiene to Yuri Drakokhrust, a well-known political analyst and correspondent of Radio Liberty’s Belarusian service (Prague), as well as analysis of the election campaign and its results in the interview of Amb. Audrey Glover, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission to Belarus, to IISESP expert Vladimir Dorokhov leave no doubts in true impact of these events on the life of our country. They will determine the future of this country over a long-term.
This time our “Bookshelf” introduces compiled materials “Evidences of Prosecuting NGO’s in Belarus” published recently by the Corporate Protection of NGO’s in Belarus. As it goes from the title, the book covers another gloomy page of the modern Belarusian history, i.e. the history of “legal death” of NGO’s that were closed over 2003-first half of 2004 by the courts of various instances as advised by the Belarusian Ministry of Justice and its bodies. We think this mournful passional provided with brief chronology and author’s commentaries will certainly stir up a storm of emotions with an unbiased reader.
We hope that this issue of the IISEPS bulletin will arouse interest and hot discussions among our readers. We are awaiting all your comments and requests!