IISEPS News, N 3 (17), 2000



Life in Our Time:
Results of a national public opinion poll (Summer – 2000)

Open Forum:
А. Lebedko, Chairman of United Civic Party
Twelve Steps to Victory

Dr. М. Zalessky, Head of a Department of the Economic Research Institute at the Ministry of the Economy
Transformations of Eastern European Countries: Experience of Regional Economic Reforms


Dear readers!


Here is a new, 17th issue of the bulletin “IISEPS news” which presents the most important results of the activities of our Institute in the third quarter of the year 2000.
The summer and early autumn of 2000 were surprisingly intense – almost all the troubles in the wild social and political life in Belarus were related to the October 15 parliamentary elections. Parliamentary elections are a decisive moment in the political process in any society – this is the moment when not only teams in power, but also the strategies of the authorities and opposition may change. However, it is known that everything in Belarus is the other way round – the moment, which serves others to change the course, for us is merely an occasion for disputes: between the authorities and the opposition, inside the authorities, inside the opposition, between government and society, between Belarus and Europe. A decisive moment means that the situation becomes very clear and truth opens to everyone. On the contrary, parliamentary elections in today’s Belarus create a situation, when the majority (of politicians, analysts, journalists, diplomats, let alone common people) is finally confused: when to vote, and when to boycott? Where is the way out and where is a blind alley? Where are friends and where are enemies?…
We think that this situation primarily requires objective information and unbiased analysis, reasoned estimates and balanced forecasts. Obtaining this information and analysis, estimates and forecasts became the main objective of the project “Belarus on the threshold of the 21st century: ways of social transformation”, which was launched by IISEPS and is being implemented by the members of the Belarusian of Think Tanks together with the Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces. The project is based on the monthly social, political and economic monitoring of the most important processes under way in this country, the generalized results of which are given to the leading policy makers and wide public. This issue of our bulletin is totally centered around the research and analysis of this project, and mainly concentrates around the problems with parliamentary elections. In it, an interested reader may find the results of the latest public opinion polls and major trends of change in public opinions as well as analysts’ assessments.
Our traditional section “Open Forum”, which is as a rule given to the most famous Belarusian policy makers and experts, was this time contributed by one of the most well-known “new wave” politicians and fathers of the idea to boycott parliamentary elections – Chairman of the United Civil Party and vice-speaker of the 13th Parliament, Anatoly Lebedko, who unveils the grounds behind his own, alternative program.
This issue’s “Bookshelf” section features a new book by our colleagues from the Analytical center “Strategy”, which is presented by IISEPS expert Dr. Mikhail Zallesky in his usual friendly and ironic fashion.
We hope that you and your colleagues will find the materials that we present in this issue interesting and useful. As usual, we would like to encourage your feedback and comments.