“Tell the Truth!” to suspend negotiations about single candidate and to focus on working with electorate
On February 27th, “Tell the Truth!” civil campaign leaders announced that they were temporarily suspending participation in the negotiations about a single opposition candidate in the 2015 presidential elections.
“Tell the Truth!” suspended its participation in the negotiations about the single opposition candidate nomination in the upcoming presidential elections, which means in 2013 the single candidate will hardly be nominated. “Tell the Truth!”, “For Freedom” movements and the Belarusian People’s Front will focus on working with electorate and preparing for the local elections.
“Tell the Truth!” explained its withdrawal from the negotiations process by the lack of fruitful results in the short term. One part of the opposition, led by Anatoly Lebedko and the United Civil Party, insists on holding primaries, but other political forces do not support the idea. The BPF and “For Freedom” are not ready to decide about the procedure or to nominate Milinkevich. Other opposition parties are far from clear views in this regard.
Paradoxically, it is possible, that “Tell the Truth!” is trying to speed up the process of identifying a candidate from the coalition of the three – “Tell the Truth!”, “For Freedom” and the BPF. “Tell the Truth’s!” coalition partners nevertheless continue taking part in the single opposition candidate nomination process. BPF Chairman Mr. Yanukevich and Deputy Chairman of the “For Freedom” movement Mr. Gubarevich support negotiations to determine a single candidate.
At the same time, “TT”, “FF” and the BPF called for cooperation in the forthcoming elections to the local Councils, which may kick off as early as December 2013. In preparation to these elections “TT” plans to enhance its strategy “civil contract” and to nominate over 1000 candidates to the local Councils.
As for the joint actions of all opposition, in 2013 they will be limited to participation in quasi-political projects, such as the celebration of the memorable historical events: Kalinowski’s appraisal, 95th Anniversary of the BPR, and the Freedom Day.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.