November 6 – November 12, 2023
The ruling elite

Pre-election luminous feat of generosity, Lukashenka instructs the parties

The situation has not changed
Pre-election luminous feat of generosity, Lukashenka instructs the parties

The ruling class is establishing additional economic, ideological, and power conditions to minimize the risks of protests during the 2024 elections. Part of the elite is strengthening the updated party system based on the Russian model, potentially affecting the erosion of the personalist regime.

The ruling class initiates a pre-election campaign of generosity through wage increases. Starting from January 1, the government increased the base rate, which forms the basis for calculating the basic income of state employees. The first payments under the updated system coincide with the final stages of the campaign — campaigning and voting.

Officials anticipate implementing traditional relaxations in advertising and the sale of alcohol during the election period.

The ruling class continues to consolidate the base electorate with a Soviet worldview and nostalgia. Lukashenka congratulated Belarusians on the national holiday — the day of the October Revolution.

The authorities are implementing a tax on wealthy Belarusians, which may not bring significant revenues to the budget. However, these innovations have an ideological basis and are positively perceived by supporters of social justice.

Law enforcement agencies support repression at a high level, demotivating opponents of the regime from participating in public and political life.

Pro-government sociologists claim an increase in trust ratings for political parties. According to the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Studies, 14% more Belarusians trust political parties than in 2022. Lukashenka interprets the growth of support as the result of personal intervention, reformatting of the political field, and destruction of pro-democratic parties.

During the summer and autumn, the authorities liquidated 12 parties, both opposition and loyalist. The other four simulate the ideological spectrum and pluralism of opinion. However, they are limited in their criticism of the leadership and show unconditional loyalty to the regime.

Pro-government sociologists recorded the rating of party trust at a relatively low level—about 30%. Most likely, this is due to the intention not to irritate Lukashenka. He traditionally does not like other public institutions (especially political parties), which pose a potential risk to the one-man rule of the country. The head of state met with representatives of the four system parties and emphasized the presidential nature of the republic.

Thus, the ruling class continues to create the conditions for the transit of the personalist regime in the direction of collective management. However, these efforts are constantly met with resistance from the president.

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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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