Opposition ponders about scenarios for 2015 presidential campaign

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April 22, 2016 19:06

Five opposition structures, including the “People‟s Referendum” campaign and the Belarusian Christian Democracy have signed the agreement on “Pravo Vybora”, a joint election observation campaign during the 2015 presidential elections.

Partisan observation has always been a uniting factor for the opposition with election observation organised around two main oppositional blocs – the “People‟s Referendum” and “Talaka”. However, the political opposition has been unable to agree neither on the „single candidate‟s nomination‟ process, nor on their participation in the 2015 presidential campaign, be it a boycott, full-scale participation or nomination of political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich as a candidate. Meanwhile, the authorities plan to allow two or three alternative candidates to compete against the incumbent president. 

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
October 02, 2017 11:49
Image: Catholic.by

The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.

Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.

Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.

In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.