May 6 – May 12, 2024
Society and political parties

Elections to the Coordination Council: Semi-finals in the Battle for Leadership in the Democratic Movement

The situation has not changed
Elections to the Coordination Council: Semi-finals in the Battle for Leadership in the Democratic Movement
Photo: Belsat

The election campaign for the Coordination Council (CC) is intensifying tension and rivalry among political organizations. The election results could increase the CC’s influence on setting the agenda for the democratic movement. If the electoral list headed by Pavel Latushka gains a majority of seats, the CC could become an independent player and challenge Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the battle for leadership among democratic forces.

Pavel Latushka, head of the People’s Anti-Crisis Management (PACM) and deputy head of the United Transitional Cabinet (UTC), has formed the most representative list of candidates for the new CC. Considering his personal popularity among regime opponents, the politician expects to gain a majority of the seats in the CC following the elections.

Latushka periodically criticizes the close circle and office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. He does not question her leadership. However, he sometimes uses public channels to pressure the democratic leader on specific issues—for example, regarding the elections to the CC.

Moreover, gaining a majority of seats in the new CC would allow Latushka to strengthen his positions, distance himself from Tsikhanouskaya, and challenge her in the future.

The elections to the CC and the political ambitions of certain warriors of the Kalinowski Regiment have clashed with the intentions of other fellow volunteers. As a result, representatives of the Kalinowski Regiment have withdrawn from direct participation in the elections. Although a part of the regiment’s volunteers initiated an electoral list that continued the struggle for votes.

Most likely, democratic forces will attract the attention of the diaspora activists to vote in the new CC. This increases the chances for harsh critics and supporters of forceful scenarios for changing the Lukashenko regime to occupy the majority of seats in the third convening of the CC.

A limiting factor for participation in the voting by a wide audience from Belarus is the repression and opposition from regime guards. Several electoral lists have already been declared “extremist formations” by the Lukashenko regime, and several criminal cases have been initiated against members of the CC.

Thus, the elections to the Coordination Council maintain political organizations in electoral tone and ensure feedback from their audiences.

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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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