As for an optimal topic for election campaigning among voters, it is necessary to bear in mind that any demonstration of political activity they regard in a restrained manner. More than half of respondents said that people in our country are afraid to express their political views (see Table 1). Among problems, which the future president should solve first of all, respondents mentioned economic, rather than political problems (see Table 2). Then follows the problem of law (though far behind), and then – corruption in the government and crime. It is noteworthy that fight against corruption, which became the key issue of A. Lukashenko’s election campaign seven years ago, could hardly be very efficient again. For A. Lukashenko it seems stupid to fight corruption after so many years of almost autocratic ruling. And in order to stir the society up the opposition will need more sensational information, even more scathing than the notorious Torgexpo case.

Table  1. Distribution of answers to the question: “What do you think about Belarusians’ readiness to express their political views?”

Table  2. Distribution of answers to the question: “Which of the following problems shall the new president solve first of all?”

The key emphasis of election campaigning should be laid not on recognition – non-recognition, legitimacy – illegitimacy, international isolation, etc., which are far from everyday problems of common voters, but on more urgent issues – criticism of the present social-economic course and its aftermath, as well as new possibilities of the economic model successfully applied in neighboring countries.

Highly politicized problems of bilingualism and historic symbols must be treated with caution (see Tables 3, 4). Any attacks at bilingualism are considered today mostly as attacks at integration, as well as Russian culture as a whole. After massive propagandistic campaigns many Belarusians associate historic symbols with Nazi occupation of Belarus. Today more than 60% of respondents agree with restoration of the Soviet flag and emblem, which means that election slogans about their immediate change are unlikely to find support among voters. But not only the overwhelming majority of A. Lukashenko’s supporters, but more than one third of respondents, who would like a democratic coalition candidate or a candidate from the Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces to be the president, agree with historic symbols’ changing (see Table 5).

Table 3. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you agree that in our country the Russian language enjoys the status equal to the status of the Belarusian language?”

Table 4. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you agree with changing the state white-red-white flag and the state emblem Pogonya to the present flag and emblem of Belarus?”

Table 5. Attitude towards change of flag and emblem depending on voters’ preferences regarding the future president, %

Do you agree with changing the state white-red-white flag and the state emblem Pogonya to the present flag and emblem

Whom would you like to see the president of Belarus

One of the coalition of democratic candidates (17.6)

Candidate nominated by CCDF (3.9)

A. Lukashenko (36.7)

Other candidate (7.3)

DA/NA (34.5)

Yes (61.2)






No (20.0)






DA/NA (18.4)






* Read vertically, for example, 36.2% of those who would like a candidate nominated by the Coordination Council of Democratic Forces to be the future president do not agree with changing the white-red-white flag and the emblem Pogonya

Negative reaction of public opinion to authorities’ actions regarding the investigation into disappearances of people is still a serious trump card of democratic forces (see Table 6). About half of respondents are not satisfied with such investigation. Moreover, more than one fourth of respondents think that Belarusian secret services were behind the disappearance of ORT cameraman D. Zavadsky (see Table 7). This is the present authorities’ image. The above data was received before the interview by former investigators D. Petrushkevich and O. Sluchek was published.

Table  6. Dynamics of distribution of answers to the question: “Are you satisfied with A. Lukashenko’s guided investigation into disappearances of people?”, %

Table 7. Distribution of answers to the question: “Do you believe that abduction of ORT cameraman D. Zavadsky was staged by criminals for personal reasons, as the Prosecutors Office claims, or by Belarus’s secret services for political reasons, as the opposition asserts?”

Thus, while campaigning top priority must be given to economic and security issues, which touch upon interests of wide sections of the population, rather than politics and ideology. Some issues, on which opinions of the opposition and a considerable part of the population vary (for example, restoration of national symbols), must be treated with caution.