February 12 – February 18, 2024
The ruling elite

Election 2024: Institutional Renewal of the Regime

The situation got worse
Election 2024: Institutional Renewal of the Regime

The ruling class begins the process of institutional renewal of the regime with the strengthening of the role of systemic political parties and the supervisory body – the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly (presumably headed by Aliaksandr Lukashenka). Ideologues and propagandists launched a large-scale campaign in traditional media and social networks to mobilize state employees and beneficiaries of state support for the elections on the Single Voting Day.

The ruling class decided to significantly update the composition of the regime’s representative bodies. In previous campaigns, Lukashenka adhered to the “continuity formula”, according to which about 30-35% of the deputies of the previous parliament make it to the new convocation. Now these numbers have decreased. In all likelihood, this is connected with the transformation of Lukashenka’s regime and the introduction of a new collective power institution – the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly.

Most likely, the most experienced supporters of the regime will be co-opted the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, whose role is significantly increased during the transformation processes. This renewed institution should become a kind of supervisory body over other branches of government and ensure a smooth redistribution of powers. According to the idea of the founders, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly should guarantee the inviolability of the country’s first president during the transfer of power.

The ruling class maintained the appearance of competitive elections to the House of Representatives and local representative bodies in major cities. However, the regime nominees do not differ in the variety of programs, the main theses of which repeat the narratives of state propaganda: consolidation around Lukashenka, traditional values and external threats.

The authorities are counting on large-scale mobilization of the public sector, state employees, students and pensioners. The turnout must testify to the support of the current course and the propaganda effect of the return of “popular love” to the current regime. Propaganda seeks to actively use social networks.

The organizers of the elections even earlier developed a working scheme for the co-optation of deputies into representative bodies. The main criteria that make it possible to determine with almost 100% probability those who will get into the new composition of elected bodies are: the method of nomination and status in the state system. Favorite candidates are nominated by all three or at least two ways: from citizens, from labor groups and political parties. At the same time, nominees from labor collectives certainly have an advantage over candidates from political parties.

Security forces are one of the main participants in the election campaign. The guards of the regime are inciting pre-election hysteria and creating a threatening background on the eve of the Unified Voting Day. A counter-terrorist operation regime was introduced in Lelchytsy. Lukashenka spoke about the “detention of saboteurs” at the border with Ukraine. Karpiankou said that Wagner PMC is ready to join the work during the elections.

Thus, the organizers of the elections will record high turnout figures in the elections with the intention of renewing the legitimacy of the representative bodies of the regime.

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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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