IISEPS News, N 4 (22), 2001



Belarus: Prospects in the XXI Century:
Results of a national public opinion poll

Open Forum:
Dr. Hans-Georg Wieck, Ambassador, Head of the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus
OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus: Accoplishments and Failures
Pavel Severinets, Leader of the Youth Front
Delayed-action Generation


Dear readers!


In the next, the 22nd issue of the bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer you materials reflecting the most interesting results of surveys, conducted by the institute in the final quarter of 2001.
During this period public-political life of the country was under the influence of consequences of the presidential campaign, which ended, as we know, in A. Lukashenko’s sound victory. Although many analysts as well as a number of key international institutions doubt its legitimacy, the bulk of social processes in the country in October-December of 2001 was determined by the presidential election results.
The election campaign completion noticeably reduced outward political activity of opposition forces, what is quite natural. At the same time there is a sharp rise in inner-party and inter-party relations, caused by natural and mature tasks for their reforming, adjusting to new political conditions, considering new distribution of forces.
State bodies undergone a long expected personnel shuffle, as a result of which many well known and previously influential figures disappeared from political horizon. Expectation of personnel changes, and the procedure itself led to a decrease in officials’ activity, their “withdrawal into the shadow”, refusal to contact with opposition figures and nongovernmental organizations in order to avoid possible aftermath for their position, and even more serious repressions. A total absence of representatives of official structures at the reception on occasion of completion of duties by Ambassador H.-G. Wieck, head of the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus, towards whom A. Lukashenko seems to feel personal antipathy, is very demonstrative in this respect.
All these processes need a rich information support for the main participants of public-political process, and our institute is doing its best to contribute to it. Thus, the main part of the given bulletin includes concluding materials of the project “Belarus: prospects in the 21st century” carried out by IISEPS jointly with colleagues from Belarusian Think Tanks, first of all, Strategy Analytical Center, in cooperation with a wide representation of democratic forces. As usual, we present the most interesting results of monitoring of public opinion and opinion of elite, commentaries by our experts on the most important results of sociological researches, as well as traditional information, provided in the context of major social-demographic groups and trends of the most important public opinion indicators. This block of materials is crowned with opinion of S. Kalyakin, leader of the Communist Party of Belarus, regarding the project, which seems indicative in terms of public utility of its results.
This time our traditional rubric “Open Forum” opens with an article by Ambassador H.-G. Wieck, who spearheaded the OSCE Advisory and Monitoring Group in Belarus for four years, in which the well known diplomat presents his vision of political transformation processes in our country. In our opinion, leaving his post the author managed to more frankly, beyond habitual frameworks of diplomatic language, highlight the level and dynamics of relations between the mission and Belarusian state and socium, which would allow our readers to deeper understand goals and tasks set up for the AMG by OSCE’s chiefs, degree of this mandate realization and nature of relations with Belarusian authorities and opposition.
Also we have to note that following requests from our readers IISEPS addressed the leadership of Belarus’ Foreign Ministry asking it to expound their vision of political prospects of the country in the context of international relations. The answer was unambiguous: “Today this is inexpedient!” We are leaving it to our readers to think why the matters stand like this.
The rubric is closed by an article by Pavel Severinets, leader of the Maladiy Front, which, in our opinion, could provide our readers with some ideas of tendencies of possible transformation of Belarusian opposition in the future.
As usual, we hope that materials of this issue would be of certain interest for you and your colleagues. Comments, remarks and requests are welcome!