Tsikhanouskaya’s Momentum in Washington vs Lukashenka’s Global Tour
Tsikhanouskaya’s coalition is gaining ground in the democratic movement and winning public support by forging a strategic dialogue with official Washington. The democratic forces have launched a campaign for electing a new member of the Coordination Council, but they don’t anticipate a widespread turnout from Belarusians due to escalating repression against council members and restrictions on alternative voting.
The Democratic forces have made significant strides in building relations with official Washington, increasing trust and popularity among politicians in Belarusian society. Tsikhanouskaya’s coalition is uniting supporters of Euro-Atlantic integration, particularly political immigrants and the diaspora.
Tsikhanouskaya delivered a compelling speech and proposed several initiatives in the U.S. Congress, attracting media interest and public attention to her cause. In response, Lukashenka found himself compelled to undertake a series of international trips (UAE, China, Africa) to stay relevant and counteract the impact of Tsikhanouskaya’s official visit to America.
The leader of democratic Belarus met with the U.S. Secretary of State and former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, in Washington. Democratic forces coordinated the sanctions agenda against the Lukashenka regime with that of official London. A day earlier, the UK imposed sanctions against a Belarusian company supporting Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine.
The Coordination Council decided to form its third composition through elections, allowing all Belarusian citizens to potentially participate, including electronic voting as an option. However, some prominent democratic politicians, such as the Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet and the leader of the National Anti-Crisis Management Pavel Latushka, criticized the electoral system, finding support among some activists in the democratic movement.
Simultaneously, the democratic forces face challenges in engaging a broad audience in the elections due to security concerns for voters and candidates, repression, expropriation of property from Lukashenka’s opponents, and a decline in the audience of independent media. The regime’s guards have already issued 145 warrants for the seizure of property from those implicated in the “Coordination Council case” who were forced to leave the country.
Thus, it seems unlikely that the democratic forces will be able to involve more than 100,000 Belarusians in electronic voting for the election of new members of the Coordination Council, given Lukashenka’s regime’s harsh reaction.
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