Political engagement of the electorate weakens as harsh critics of the regime strengthen their positions

Category status:
- (The situation has not changed)
30-05.09.2021
Фота: https://t.me/belsat/56835

Socio-political engagement and protest movement activities within the country are declining due to emigration, repression and activist fatigue. However, the positions of implacable critics of the current regime and supporters of stronger sanctions are strengthening in light of the security forces’ destruction of the legal framework.

The coalition of political exiles (the cabinet of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Coordinating Council, NAU, “Honest People” et al.) continue to try to engage supporters of change in discussion around the “People’s Constitution” in the face of increasing apathy and fatalism arising from severe repression and abrogation of legal principles.

Unlike 2019, the prospect of agreeing to integration roadmaps with the Kremlin has not caused street mobilisation by supporters of Belarusian independence. Meanwhile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya retains her influence on relations between Minsk and Western capitals, recently holding several meetings in Slovakia with European politicians and experts to promote common positions on sanctions, increased assistance to civil society and participation in the Eastern Partnership.

The Coordination Council is trying to reorganise its activities, strengthen communication with various segments of society and introduce the position of representatives. However, it has limited influence on the development of the overall political agenda.

The NAU, headed by Pavel Latushka, continues to devise resonant initiatives and coordinate strong opponents of the regime. For example, the NAU mobilises political activists and exiles to pressure international organisations to recognise Alexander Lukashenka as a terrorist and hold a legal conference in Nuremberg. Protest actions such as marches, displaying symbols and other visible protest representations continue in different regions but with negative dynamics.

Severe repression and lawless behaviour by the security forces are driving responses from some activists. Within the protest movement, supporters of active measures against the security forces and repressive infrastructure (BYPOl, Cyber Partisans) are strengthening their position, and cyber-partisans are relentlessly attacking the networks of Belarusian state bodies.

Due to repression and the threat of de-registration, political parties are trying to generate their own media content via social networks and use other IT tools to coordinate work with their sympathisers. The Green Party is launching an online service that facilitates joining a political organisation and making contributions to its statutory purposes.

Despite the reduction in incomes, the restoration of the Budslav Church managed to collect more than BYN 1.0 million in donations from the public and businesses.

The positions implacable absolutists are strengthening in civil society and amongst the political diaspora. Promotion of international sanctions and steps to dismantle repressive instruments of the state in response to security forces’ lawlessness predominate.

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