E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2005 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Klimov’s Revolution: Best Action over Recently or Fight for Seat in Opposition?

Person of the month:
Anatoly Shumchenko: Leader of Traders or Nation-Scale Politician?

Document of the month:
Presidential Decree No. 148 “On Urgent Measures for Support of Entrepreneurship”: Ground for Problem Solving or Trick of Con Game?

Organization of the month:
Permanent Council of Democratic Forces (“the Ten”): Feasible Consolidation or Imitation?


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of “Infofocus” bulletin. In our opinion, Klimov’s Revolution has become “Theme of the Month” in March. To remind, its author called Belarusian citizens to go into the streets and demand president’s resignation and release of political prisoners. Naturally, 500 000 people never came up into the streets of Minsk. The action of protest dated for anniversary of the Belarusian Popular Front gathered, by different estimates, from 1 500 to 2 000 people while other opposition parties simply ignored the event. Judging by law enforcement units involved in disruption of the demonstration, the Belarusian authorities took the action very seriously. Some thirty participants were detained and later sentenced to administrative arrest. How should we take the event: is this success or failure? What did the action demonstrate in regard to the moods within the society? What are the chances of achieving political changes in the country by revolutionary scenario so popular presently in the CIS countries? This column is given to P. Severinets, coordinator of Young Belarus bloc, and Y. Lednik, political observer at the Belarusian television.
In the “Person of the Month” column we introduce A. Shumchenko, Chairman of the national public association “Perspective”. He was sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest for organization of an unauthorized meeting that opened the strike of individual entrepreneurs. While in jail, the authorities tried to initiate a criminal process against A. Shumchenko allegedly for beating a cellmate. The scenario which A. Shumchenko called a “wicked provocation” failed as the “victim” didn’t play his part well, and he was released. Is he able to become a credible leader of entrepreneur movement? Why did the authorities treat so roughly the person who organized the strike led by purely economic demands and who carefully avoided politics? Does A. Shumchenko have an opportunity to become a political leader of a national scale? We asked these questions to O. Abramova, Deputy of the House of Representatives, and Y. Romanchuk, President of Mises center and Strategy analytical center.
The strike of individual entrepreneurs who protested against the new VAT payment procedure has become such a big event that the president personally met with the strikers. Following a long talk he promised to take proper measures to solve traders’ problems. Shortly after, the president issued the Decree No.148 “On Urgent Measures for Support of Entrepreneurship”, which we offer to you in the column “Document of the Month”. Was its signing a forced move or the head of state really decided to help small and medium business? How appropriate to existing problems are the measures listed in the decree? How will this decree influence the state of entrepreneurs? You will find here the opinions of lawyer S. Balykin and V. Pavlovich, Head of permanent commission on industry, fuel-energy complex, transportation, communication and entrepreneurship of the House of Representatives.
In the column “Organization of the Month”, we introduce the Permanent Council of Democratic Forces (the so-called ten) incorporating leading opposition parties and public associations. Its analytical council has worked out the procedure of nominating a sole candidate for democratic forces to run in the presidential election of 2006. In accordance with this procedure, applications of contenders were accepted till the end of March. As of today, only four persons submitted their applications to the ten: S. Kalyakin, Chairman of the Party of Communists Belarusian, A. Lebedko, Chairman of the United Civil Party, non-party candidate A. Milinkevich supported by the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Ecological Green Party and S. Shushkevich, Chairman of the Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada. All other democratic politicians who aired their claims to presidency (V. Frolov, A. Voitovich, A. Yaroshuk, etc.) have apparently refused to follow the procedure of the ten determining a sole candidate. In this regards, how can we estimate efficiency of the ten’s activity? Will it remain a leading organization of the democratic forces at the coming election? Is the ten able to consolidate opponents to the current authorities and does it have the potential to proceed in this direction? We introduce the opinions of V. Kolos, Chairman of the Rada of Belarusian intellectuals (by the way, he’s one of those who claim for a position of a sole candidate), and V. Suryaev, Head of Analytical Department of the President’s Management Academy.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. All comments and requests are mostly welcome!

IISEPS executive board

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