August 27 – September 2, 2018
The ruling elite

The political weight of marketers continued to grow; the information policy is undergoing changes

The situation has gotten better
The political weight of marketers continued to grow; the information policy is undergoing changes

The trend towards rejuvenating the power vertical and strengthening the ‘reformists’ role in determining the government’s economic policy was reinforced by further personnel reshuffles in ministries and regions. The Belarusian leadership is attempting to update its communication strategy with voters and strengthen its presence in the independent media reporting. Unlike before, when the state ideologists simply ignored problem issues, now they promptly respond to the most topical issues dominating social and online media.

The government’s statements about a new state support programme for small and medium enterprises and changing the government agencies’ approach to working with private traders prompts cautious optimism about the consolidation of the trend for economic liberalization and improving the business environment.

The age of the new heads of the Finance and Energy Ministries is 41/42 years, which is in line with the ongoing trend for rejuvenating the public sector and enabling the new generation of managers with a good educational background in the economy. For instance, the new Finance Minister, Yermolovich, has the reputation as a liberal and a reformist.

The president further rotated the power vertical and regional leadership. That said, the regional nomenclature is gradually restoring its influence on determining the regional staffing policy. For instance, all appointed chairmen of the regional executive committees represent the local power vertical or public sector in their regions (Gomel, Minsk and Mogilev).

The Belarusian leadership is attempting to strengthen its influence on the discussions of current events in the Belarusian media. The president’s visibility in the information space, including online media and social networks, including his response to current issues has increased. For example, he gave an exclusive interview following a meeting with President Putin in Sochi, to a state-owned TV channel, which was reposted in social media.

Yet the ideological vertical has been unable to pursue its agenda in the independent media. Nevertheless, the authorities are likely to continue attempts to alter the information policy and provide a timely response to current events.

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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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