As repeatedly stated, the majority of voters (about two thirds) cast their votes having no enough information about candidates and their election programs. Unlike common voters, public opinion leaders had full information in this respect (see Table 1).

Table 1. Distribution of answers to the question: “Did you have enough information about the candidates for presidency and their election programs?”, %

Public leaders use traditional sources of information (see Table 2). However, personal contacts with the candidates for presidency, as a source of information, seems inferior to newspapers and TV programs. Today it is very hard to overestimate the degree of mass media (especially electronic) influence upon the result of public political campaigns. Recently we have witnessed how the so-called political technologies of working with public opinion applied by means of television brought in stunning results. How do the respondents assess the situation around using television during the presidential election?

Table 2. Distribution of answers to the question: “From which sources did you receive information about the candidates and their programs?” % (more than one answer is possible)

The overwhelming majority of respondents watched the candidates’ televised addresses (see Table 3). But as we see from Table 4, such speeches almost did not affect voters’ decision whom to vote for. This fact might be perceived in two ways – as an indicator of inefficient usage of teleaddresses by the candidates, or as voters’ deep knowledge of the candidates and their programs. Naturally, all the candidates – are rather experienced and well-known politicians and their visions of major problems have been known to leaders long ago. But election campaigning and televised addresses give a chance to make well-informed professionals change their minds. In our case one could hardly disagree that the candidates for presidency were not able to seriously affect leaders’ stance without the most powerful means of election campaigning.

Table 3. Distribution of answers to the question: “Did you watch the candidates’ televised addresses?”, %

Table 4. Distribution of answers to the question: “Did the candidates’ televised addresses affect your decision whom to vote for?”, %

The above statement is indirectly proved by Table 5. As we see, almost half of leaders did not like any of the candidates appeared on the television. It is worth mentioning that V. Goncharik, whose good positions with Belarus’ nomenclature were considered as one of arguments for his nomination, proved more attractive for non-state sector representatives. Both groups viewed S. Domash almost equally, though in absolute figures his showings are lower than of V. Goncharik.

Table 5. Distribution of answers to the question: “Who of the candidates appeared on the television you liked the most?”, %

As we know, there is a gap between elite’s opinion and opinion of common voters even in countries with sustainable democratic traditions. In Belarus such gap, when comparing the results of leaders’ voting and the data announced by the Central Election Commission, seems more like an abyss. Almost 90% of non-state sector representatives who supported V. Goncharik – not a big surprise, but 50% of state structures leaders who supported him (compare – A. Lukashenko got only 3.6%) – is the fact making one think it over (see Table 6). In fact, about 30% of respondents from state sector declined to answer this question. Supposedly, they did not vote for A. Lukashenko, otherwise, why would they fear revealing their choice. As a result, considering the above stated data, we could prove correctness of the old conclusion – Belarus’ nomenclature is dissatisfied with A. Lukashenko, since he is perceived as the leader who does not allow a “new class” realize its interests, and first of all, property interests.

Table 6. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you think A. Lukashenko’s victory at the election contributed to Belarus’ society consolidation, or a deep split?”, %

To all appearances, it seems an explanation of the fact that more than 70% of pollees form state structures are not satisfied with the election results. Non-state sector representatives’ motivation seems rather clear – their candidate lost, and therefore satisfaction is out of the question. Aside form that, another reason for dissatisfaction is suspicion regarding reliability of the official returns. About three-quarters of state sector workers and half of non-state sector workers do not trust them (12.7% and 25%, respectively, think in the opposite).

At the same time, it is necessary to emphasize that the data voiced by V. Goncharik also gained almost no confidence among respondents. The number of state sector workers saying these figures are falsified is 1.5fold higher than the number of those considering them true. Their colleagues from state sector view V. Goncharik’s data in a more positive way, but of course differently.

A. Lukashenko’s retaining power caused no delight among Belarus’ elite. It is not very optimistic about the future of Belarus. First, A. Lukashenko’s victory, according to leaders’ opinion, caused a deeper split of Belarusian society (see Table 6). More than 60% of state sector workers [supposed to work for the benefit of all society members regardless of their world outlook] think this way. Second, over 80% of respondents sounded certain that during the second term the president is likely to pursue the old, or even a more reactionary policy (see Table 7). State sector workers have different visions in this respect – their ratio is fifty-fifty, but not a single respondent (!) from non-state sector believes A. Lukashenko’s policy would become more progressive.

Table 7. Distribution of answers to the question: “What kind of policy, do you think, A. Luakshenko would pursue after getting the presidential mandate for another term?”, %

It turned out that similar fears have a concrete embodiment. In the opinion of elite, invariability of A. Luakshenko’s current course regarding foreign policy means keeping relations with the West strained, or their deterioration, but the relations are too poor already (see Table 8), and also slowly deteriorating relations with Moscow (see Table 9). And the number of optimists, i.e. those who believe relations with the Wets and Moscow would improve, is very low. And it happens right after the election, when, logically, hopes that the president, suffering no rating falls, would use his second term to remain in people’s memory as a wide leader must be dominant. And to this purpose he shall pursue a proper policy! Especially after the terrorist acts in the USA, when Belarusian authorities enjoy a favorable foreign policy atmosphere.

Table 8. Distribution of answers to the question: “How, do you think, electing A. Lukashenko the new president would influence relations between Belarus and the West?”, %

Table 9. Distribution of answers to the question: “How, do you think, electing A. Lukashenko the new president would influence relations between Belarus and Russia?”, %

As for economic policy, the given fears reveal that Belarus’ elite does not believe A. Lukashenko’s election promises of a liberalization in economic policies. Half of pollees is confident (see Table 10) that domestic economic policy is likely to deteriorate and only 5.6% think in the opposite (32.1% among state sector workers, and 14.3% in non-state sector). There is much less optimism regarding the president’s foreign policy (see Table 11). Consequently – there is a negative assessment of possible fulfillment of another promise by A. Lukashenko: 83.1% of respondents do not believe the president would be able to secure a considerable growth in living standards (see Table 12). In fact, if after A. Lukashenko’s reelection, as Belarus’ elite sees it, there is a deeper society split, relations with the outside world and economic policy deteriorates, how one could count on a rise in people’s incomes? By means of what could that happen?

Table 10. Distribution of answers to the question: “How, do you think, electing A. Lukashenko the new president would influence Belarus’ domestic economic policy?,” %

Table 11. Distribution of answers to the question: ” How, do you think, electing A. Lukashenko the new president would influence Belarus’ foreign economic relations?, %

Table 12. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you think A. Lukashenko would be able to fulfil his election promise to secure a considerable growth in population’s living standards?”, %

Summing it up, we can state that potentially the elite’s distrust in A. Lukashenko is so strong that it does not believe in possibility of positive changes, even regardless of existing serious objective and subjective prerequisites for them to take place.