February 19 – February 25, 2024
Society and political parties

Democratic Forces: Overlooking the 2024/2025 Election in Favor of 2030?

The situation has not changed
Democratic Forces: Overlooking the 2024/2025 Election in Favor of 2030?

The democratic forces are revisiting a strategy of disregarding Lukashenka’s regime’s electoral schedule, likely extending to non-participation in the 2025 presidential campaign. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s cabinet showcases success in safeguarding the interests of its supporters while engaging with Western partners.

Tsikhanouskaya’s team has presented their supporters with a plan for the Single Day of Voting. This voting-day behavior strategy aligns with the proposals made by the United Civil Party during the boycott of the parliamentary elections in 2012 (amidst the civil society unrest following the authoritarian reaction to the Square 2010).

Similar to the 2015 presidential elections, democratic forces will probably steer clear of full participation in the 2025 campaign, either by choice or due to external pressures, anticipating another crisis in the Lukashenka regime. A potential window of opportunity for the democratic movement might open up following a relaxation of repression and regime liberalization, potentially allowing pro-democracy politicians to participate in elections (though likely not involving political migration).

One plausible scenario for strengthening democratic forces’ societal influence might arise from significant socio-economic protests during the inter-election period. The ruling class’s contentious and unpopular decisions, coupled with their inflexible and insensitive approach amidst dwindling public support, could lead to heightened tensions. This could occur once the impact of the war in Ukraine on Belarusian society subsides.

Democratic forces continue to be effective in promoting communal concerns on the international stage. During the OSCE PA session, Tsikhanouskaya urged the isolation of Lukashenka’s regime, calling for non-recognition of the results of the 2024 elections.

In a meeting with Tsikhanouskaya, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Schallenberg, declared that Austria would recognize expired Belarusian passports as valid.

The presence and influence of democratic forces on international platforms largely stem from trust in Tsikhanouskaya, perceived by Western politicians as the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement. The erosion of this status could significantly weaken the position of Belarusians in dealings with European and American partners.

Therefore, democratic forces are concentrating on maintaining the loyalty of their supporters and alleviating the repercussions of the authoritarian crackdown against the regime’s opponents.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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