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May 27 – June 2, 2024
Society and political parties

Elections to the Coordination Council: The Mobilization Loop of Democratic Forces

The situation has not changed
Elections to the Coordination Council: The Mobilization Loop of Democratic Forces
Photo: elements.envato.com

Low participation in the elections to the Coordination Council (CC) indicates a regression of Belarusian society to the state of 2019. Tsikhanouskaya’s coalition maintains the unity of the infrastructure of democratic political organizations. However, in the coming months, an intensification of the discussion regarding the role of the renewed Coordination Council and the United Transitional Cabinet in the democratic movement is expected.

Democratic forces retain the potential to lead the protest movement in the event of another political crisis.

The mobilization capabilities of the democratic forces in 2024 are comparable to the state of the opposition at the beginning of 2020. Indeed, the coalition of political organizations engaged about 4,500 activists in the primaries for the election of a single presidential candidate. Five opposition parties participated in the campaign: BCD, PBNF, UCP, the “Movement for Freedom”, and BSDP (Hramada).

About 6,700 people participated in the online voting for delegates to the Coordination Council in May 2024, representing a broader spectrum from political organizations (12 electoral lists).

However, the financial resources, international contacts, technological capabilities, and competencies of the democratic forces have significantly increased. Thus, the online elections for the CC were conducted using the most advanced approaches.

In a situation of high absenteeism and depoliticization, the competition among political organizations for limited resources has increased—for example, the number of mutual accusations has grown. Thus, one of the most highly-rated initiatives of the United Transitional Cabinet fell into a media scandal. According to journalists from the Belarusian Investigative Center, the Lithuanian company working on the “New Belarus” passport project is linked to one of Lukashenka’s regime’s “wallets.”

The “New Belarus” passport was one of the most popular initiatives among political emigrants. Most likely, interest in this project from the supporters of change will significantly weaken after the media resonance, despite denials of the accusations.

Thus, in the coming months, an increase in tension within the environment of democratic forces and an intensification of the struggle for resources, which continue to diminish, can be expected.

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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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