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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 1

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2005 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction

Theme of the month:
Nomination of Single Candidate: “Performance” or Step Forward?

Person of the month
Dismissal of Nikolai Statkevich: “Victory of Presidential Administration” or Party Development Pattern?

Document of the month:
Draft Decree “On Measures against Human Traffic”: Instrument of Self-Isolation or Human Rights Protection?

Organization of the month:
Personnel Clean-Up within KGB: “Lack of President’s Trust” or “Personnel Rejuvenation”?

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

We offer to your attention the next issue of “Infofocus” bulletin. The first month in a year isn’t usually a politically active period. The situation is absolutely different this year though. Apparently, democratic forces made certain conclusions from previous political campaigns when the opposition was often criticized for sluggishness and lack of organization and decided to start preparation to the presidential election in good time. The part of the opposition united within the Five Plus independently worked out the procedure of nominating a single presidential candidate. Two of the parties incorporated into the Five offered their own candidatures – A. Lebedko (for the United Civil Party) and S. Kalyakin (for the Party of Communists Belarusian). Also, the European coalition Free Belarus offered its own candidature for a single candidate – N. Statkevich, Leader of the Conservative Christian Party of BPF Z. Poznyak living currently abroad as well claimed his readiness to run for the top Belarusian office. This is why we think nomination of a single presidential candidate for democratic forces has become the “Issue of Month”. Who, when and how should take the decision on this crucial issue? What traits should he have? Who of the politicians is the most appropriate for such a position? We asked these questions to the contenders of the previous election campaign – V. Goncharik, former single candidate for democratic forces and current Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, and S. Gaidukevich, deputy of the House of Representatives (he’s determined to run for presidency anew).
So far the situation over a single candidate is still unclear while a major chairmanship dispute within the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) has been finally solved with the help of the Ministry of Justice. To remind, there arose a conflict at the end of the past year between leader of social democrats N. Statkevich and his deputies led by V. Nistiuk in the course of which they excluded one another from the party.
Eventually, the Ministry of Justice took the part of V. Nistiuk while N. Statkevich, our “Figure of Month”, who headed the party for almost ten years, lost his seat. What has led to Statkevich’s dismissal – his personal mistakes, stair-work of opponents or, as they say, special action of the authorities? Will this event become a beginning for purification and further consolidation within the democratic camp or it will, on the contrary, give way to a number of conflicts and splits? How will resignation influence the carrier of N. Statkevich determined to represent democratic forces at the coming presidential election? We offer you the opinions of political scientist A. Suzdaltsev and Y. Kulakovsky, Chairman of the Commission for human rights, international relations and mass media at the House of Representatives.
The column “Document of Month” is this time given to the draft presidential decree “On measures against human traffic”. We should like to make a reservation that we were unable to find the original text of the draft. It wasn’t published on either presidential web site or on the web sites of all concerned ministries and agencies. Nevertheless, basic regulations of the decree have become known due to a wide response following discussion of the decree with president’s participation. How acute and topical is the problem of human traffic in Belarus? Why do Belarusian women looking for a better life abroad often fall victims of the sex industry? What should be done to improve the situation in this field? We’ve asked the opinion of V. Grinkevich, Deputy Head of the Department of Information and Public Relations (Ministry of Internal Affaires), and a noted human rights defender O. Volchek, leader of the movement Homeland Defenders.
In January, President A. Lukashenko several times addressed KGB which has become “Organization of Month”. First, the head of state made the largest-scale in the history of his presidency reshuffle in the board of this agency. With an edict, he appointed new chairman, four deputies to the chairman, heads of military and foreign intelligence departments and four heads of regional departments. Several days later, A. Lukashenko took part in the sitting of KGB board where he expressed discontent with the work of KGB men, defined new objectives for the committee and notified them that he would personally observe their fulfillment. What is the reason of personnel clean-up in KGB top echelons? How reasonable is president’s critics against the special service? How will this affect their activity? KGB press service declined to give any comments on the ground that this issue has been thoroughly covered in president’s public speeches. Therefore, we had to use the statement of presidential press service. Also, Chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front V. Vechorka shared his viewpoint on the issue.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. All comments and requests are mostly welcome!

IISEPS executive board

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