Political parties are attempting to raise funds domestically, independent media organisations are engaging in a dialogue with the state media
Political parties are experiencing financial difficulties and are attempting to raise funds for political activity within the country. In addition, they are attempting to meet the demand for changes in Belarusian society and further promote the reform agenda. Independent and state media attempt to mitigate the confrontation and launch a dialogue between the non-state and official media.
Political parties have stepped up the domestic fundraising efforts and people have shown willingness to donate funds for political activities. For instance, the Belarusian Popular Front party found itself in a difficult financial situation and was unable to pay the office rent for a while, however, thanks to crowdfunding, the party leadership managed to collect one-third of the due debt in three weeks. That said, the United Civic Party also faced financial difficulties, which was one of the reasons for the change in the newly elected leadership. In addition, the UCP spending on the legal protection of its members has increased due to the enhanced pressure by the authorities across the country.
The BCD, in cooperation with MP Anna Kanopatskaya, opened a public reception room in Mogilev. In addition, the BCD has developed the concept of reforms in healthcare and is collecting signatures in Bobruisk for the construction of a children’s hospital. The BCD co-chairman, V. Rymashevsky, together with MP Kanopatskaya, met with voters in Grodno last weekend, despite the sudden rejection of a booked room. Movement For Freedom, a member of the centre-right coalition, held a regional conference in Grodno and re-elected a coordinator in preparations for the Republican conference on December 15th, 2018.
MP Kanopatskaya has enhanced her visibility and aims to engage those interested in legislative changes. The Anti-monopoly Ministry has responded to her request regarding the violation of antitrust laws by state-run media organisations.
Tell The Truth has prompted local authorities and communities to a greater initiative on issues of regional development, as well as a lesser dependence on central authorities. TTT invited prominent economists and foreign experts to the regional development forum in Grodno “How to make Grodno A Tourism Capital”. The Forum in Grodno and MP Kanopatsaya’s meeting with voters in Grodno were held on the same day, and, judging by photo reports, the Forum gathered thrice as many people. Tell The Truth further strengthened its regional network, having held two meetings of the Gomel and Minsk regional organizations. In addition, TTT confirmed its position on the abolition of the death penalty, and its co-chair Andrei Dmitriev outlined programmatic approaches of the organization.
Independent trade unions are attempting to minimize the pressure by the authorities in connection with the criminal prosecution and conviction of the REP Trade Union leaders. Deputy Head of the REP Trade Union, Mikhnyuk, now leads the organization instead of Fedynich.
Independent and state media are attempting to overcome the ideological confrontation and starting a dialogue between independent and state journalists. For instance, former Belarusian State TV head and the head of Belaya Rus quango gave a rather tough interview to Nasha Niva, an independent online media. In turn, the Nasha Niva Editor participated in the Editors Club on Belarus-1 TV channel with critical remarks regarding the state information policy.
Overall, political parties and independent media are likely to continue attempts to launch a dialogue with government agencies and official media. Opposition parties are likely to strengthen domestic fundraising efforts.
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Situation in Belarus