July 23 – July 29, 2018
The ruling elite

The president is confident of his power vertical; the power block is discontent with ongoing liberalization

The situation has not changed
The president is confident of his power vertical; the power block is discontent with ongoing liberalization

In the absence of a public request for state reforms, the Belarusian authorities do not see the need to make changes in the state administration; however, they aim to step up the discipline in the public sector due to the perfection of formalities. Law enforcers argue against the liberalisation in entrepreneurship by prosecuting businesses which violated the law.

The Belarusian authorities plan additional measures to step up the efficiency, responsibility and the prestige of the public administration. Following a large-scale anti-corruption campaign against public officials and state managers, the president ordered to draft the code of honour for public officials. The authorities see no need in large-scale reforms in the public administration reducing the functions of the state, in their viewpoint, the anti-corruption pressure by the power block should be enough.

Among other things, the political leadership sees no request for state reforms from the population. According to independent polls, 58% of the population trust the government, which is the highest rating among public institutions. That said, local and regional authorities’ negative rating (44%) is higher than the positive one (42%).

Law enforcers oppose the ongoing economic liberalisation. For instance, the Financial Investigation Department of the State Control Committee has opposed many proposals to amend the decree on combating the pseudo entrepreneurship lobbied by entrepreneurship unions. Law enforcers support their arguments with launching a criminal investigation against pseudo-entrepreneurial structures. For example, the SCC started criminal cases against the management of Minsk-based companies involved in wholesale trade of electrical products and the supply of raw materials and equipment to winemakers.

The Belarusian leadership aims to strengthen the efficiency and the discipline in the state administration without starting systemic reforms or reducing its functionality. Law enforcers are likely to strengthen their arguments with forceful pressure on private business and increased persecution of pseudo-entrepreneurs.

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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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