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August 19 – August 25, 2019
Society and political parties

The opposition and civil society revise their approaches to improve the outreach and recruit supporters

The situation has not changed
The opposition and civil society revise their approaches to improve the outreach and recruit supporters

Political organizations further used online petitions and collected signatures to promote local and social issues, inter alia, in order to influence the media coverage and consolidate their supporters. Political parties have publicly abstained from any direct confrontation with law enforcement and aim to use the ongoing election campaign to organize public activities in compliance with the election legislation.

Former UCP leader Liabedzka posted a petition on the change.org demanding to dismiss the Central Electoral Commission Head, Yarmoshyna. Petitions on change.org do not oblige the government to consider such appeals, however, Liabedzka’s initiative has caused seething in social media.

The centre-rightists, Tell The Truth, and Social Democrats have used both, online petitions and offline collection of signatures to appeal to the authorities. Thereby political organizations communicate with their supporters amid the lack of political representation in elected bodies, build trust and retain interest of non-politicized groups. Moreover, amid the ongoing election campaign, the authorities are becoming more sensitive to such appeals. For example, local authorities in Kastrychnicki village have yielded to the pressure by Tell The Truth and allocated funds for the purchase of a CCT ambulance.

The BSDP (Hramada) is attempting to promote a constitutional reform influence its content. For instance, Social Democrats started drafting their version of a constitution, which they aim to submit to the Constitutional Court. In addition, party representatives participated in the governmental working group tasked to design amendments to the legislation on political parties and public associations. Some of the proposals made by the opposition were considered in the draft law.

All political organizations have abandoned the unauthorized activity and direct confrontation with security officials. For instance, the ultimate wing of the opposition, the Statkevich-led Belarusian National Committee, has nominated its candidates for MPs in order to organize public actions within the existing electoral framework.

The environmental movement in Brest against the battery factory aims to use the elections to organize authorized public actions led by protest leaders’ candidates. Apparently, activists in Kurapaty may also exploit legal opportunities to advance their agenda and mitigate pressure from law enforcement.

Political parties, civil society organizations and protest movements are updating their approaches in reaching out to their audiences within the existing electoral framework and attempt to reduce oppression by security forces.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.
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