E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2006 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Results of Signature Collection: Routine or Political Arm Wrestling?

Person of the month:
S. Skrebets: Struggle for Reputation or for Presidential Seat?

Document of the month:
Decision of Supreme Court of January 24 to close Belarusian Think Tanks for three months: Cleaning of Civic Society or Supremacy of Law?

Organization of the month:
Supreme Union State Council: Are There Any Prospects for Integration?

From IISEPS Desktop:
Elite Recognized a Sole Candidate for Democratic Forces A. Milinkevich


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of the informational bulletin “Infofocus.” No signature lists for candidate nomination are submitted to regional election commissions since January 27. They are now being examined and the first results will be publicized shortly. Meanwhile, we can say that four initiative groups were able to present the necessary minimum of 100 000 signatures. These are the group of the president in office A. Lukashenko, of a single democratic candidate A. Milinkevich, Chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic party (Gromada) A. Kozulin and Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party S. Gaidukevich. The results of signature collection for nomination of presidential candidates have become our “Topic of Month.” Was signature collection a routine or a kind of qualification contest in the political arm wrestling? Why did A. Lukashenko’s initiative group need to submit 1,905,631 signatures (over a quarter of all voters) to the election commission? What will be the relations between the two opposition candidates A. Milinkevich and A. Kozulin during the election campaign? Will one of them quit in favor of the second? Political scientist V. Rovdo and political correspondent of the Belarusian Radio Y. Prokopov give us their standpoints.
This time S. Skebetshas become the “Person of Month”. It is for the first time in Belarus that a person currently kept in the investigation cell participated in the presidential election campaign. What was his aim? Was this a struggle for political reputation or a feasible claim to the presidential seat? Why did S. Skrebets quit the presidential race in favor of A. Kozulin? Is the criminal case of S. Skrebets a political one? We offer you here the opinion of H. Pogonyalo, Deputy Chairman of the Belarussian Helsinki Committee. Unfortunately, public sector experts declined to air their viewpoint on this issue.
In the column “Document of Month” we represent the Decision of the Supreme Court issued on January 24 to suspend activity of the Belarusian Think Tanks for three months. Also, it presently considers closure of the Belarusian Union of Youth Public Associtions “Rada”. Is there anything common in these two cases pertaining to umbrella organizations of the third sector or they simply coincided in time? Are we talking about cleaning of civic society or about supremacy of law? You will find here appraisal of the situation in the third sector given by L. Zaiko, Head of the Strategy Analytical Center, and A. Krasutsky, Deputy of the House of Representatives.
Stated meeting of the Supreme Union State Council has taken place January 24 in St. Petersburg and became our “Organization of Month.” Why they didn’t discuss preparation of the Union State Constitution during the sitting? On January 27, A. Lukashenko stated that the Draft was suspended in view of “new amendments coming from the Office of Russia’s President.” How possible is conduction of the referenda on Constitution in Russia and Belarus in the very near future? As the Russian mass media (Vedomosti, Kommersant) say, the Belarusian side is ready to convert to the Russian ruble in its territories only if the Russian side provides annual irrevocable indemnity in the amount of $1.8 billion. The Russian side doesn’t agree to irrevocable indemnities but it is ready to discuss crediting. How true these statements are and what are the prospects of currency integration if this is the case? We addressed these questions to S. Karaganov, a leading member of Russia’s Presidential Council for Strengthening of Civic Institutions and Human Rights Promotion, Chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and to Belarusian political scientist A. Suzdaltsev.
Our column “IISEPS Desktop” offers to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the nation opinion poll conducted by independent sociologists at the assistance of Prof. Manaev’s group in December of 2005.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. We look forward to your feedbacks!

IISEPS executive board

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