IISEPS News, N 4 (34), 2004



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

Referendum and electon in the mirror of sociology
Socio-demographic and regional aspects of the referendum
Belarus got the Parliament it didn’t vote for
Estimates of the election campaign depend directly on the political standpoints of Belarusians
Electoral resources of President A. Lukashenko
Paradoxes of public credit
Nearly half of Belarusians believe that parliamentary elections was free and fair
Political climate in Belarus: Christmas frost
Belarusians no longer wish to integrate with Russia?…
Have a cell phone, a follower of privatization!
Good is there where we are not present?…
Non-state press must win back reader,s credit
Clever tongue will take anywhere?
Female face of the Belarusian alternative

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

Open Forum:

Case of IISEPS


Martin Butora, honourable President of the Institute for Public Affairs (Bratislava, Slovakia)
“Ten notes to ten belarusian years”


Dear readers!


The next issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” offers to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of institute’s studies in the fourth quarter of 2004.
Social and political life in Belarus at the end of autumn and beginning of winter was, first of all, marked by reshuffle of forces following parliamentary election and referendum. It became obvious that A. Lukashenko would run for presidency anew. Therefore, the process of re-consolidation, certainly aimed at forthcoming presidential election, is now taking place in both bodies of government and among the opposition. Certain changes have been happening within the Belarusian electorate as well as in various international and foreign organizations, from Moscow to Washington, watching closely the developments in Belarus. These analytical materials based on the results of the nation opinion poll conducted in November address the above processes.
Apparently, a major result of the November opinion poll has become the figure 49%. This is the number of respondents who voted for Constitution amendment at the October referendum. It’s almost the same as the figure of the Gallup Organization / Baltic Surveys, which conducted exit polls on October 17, and makes 48.8! This actually proves “redistribution” of 30% of votes (i.e. over two million of Belarusians). How can this fact influence the developments in this country? Do Belarusians know what to expect from the authorities, the opposition and the electorate? Are any changes possible in this society? Authors of this issue answer these questions.
As usual, we present the most important issues in the light of basic socio-demographic characteristics as well as the trends of change in Belarusian public opinion over the past years to those of our readers who prefer pure figures to analytics.
This time, our “Open Forum” is non-traditional. It offers documents on the so-called “case of the IISEPS”, i.e. one of the latest notice letters from the Ministry of Justice, protocol of the night-time search carried by KGB in the office where Institute’s employees meet, statements of the IISEPS and Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors of the EU and the USA to Belarus on the latest developments over the Institute. In our opinion, these documents are bright examples of that the agencies of state authority willing to avert inevitable changes in the country have actually waged the war against the civic society.
On our “Bookshelf”, a famous Slovak scientist and a noted public figure Martin Butora reviews a new book of the IISEPS titled “Independent Researches in Independent Belarus: Fighting for Reality”. Based on his rich professional and political experience, a former presidential candidate, he not only gives analysis of the book but also outlines peculiarities of Belarus at the post-Soviet territory as well as draws deep analogy of the development in Belarus and Slovakia and traces the prospects Belarus.
We hope that this issue of the IISEPS bulletin will be interesting and helpful for you and your colleagues. All comments and requests are, as usual, welcome!