June 26 – July 2, 2023
The ruling elite

The regime creates a new party system as social guarantees continue to erode

The situation has not changed
The regime creates a new party system as social guarantees continue to erode

The ruling class has eliminated opposition parties and replaced them with four regime-aligned organisations that mimic the entire ideological spectrum. The Lukashenka state is consistently reducing social guarantees, disclaiming responsibility for community service and passenger rail transport and shifting responsibility to businesses, as with social retail discounts.

Three political parties loyal to the Lukashenka regime have been registered in addition to the newly created “party of power”. The ruling elite are attempting to create a party system reflecting an imitation of the right/left ideological spectrum with the Liberal Democratic Party, “Belaya Rus”, the Republican Party of Labour and Justice, and the Communist Party of Belarus.

The ruling class is amending the social contract, abandoning social guarantees, and maintaining a monopoly on political power. Legislators propose to move away from state guardianship of citizens to a partnership model with approprate constitutional changes.

Passenger railway fares have risen by over 40% in some cases, and the charges for housing and communal services have increased.

The government continues to transfer social responsibility from the state to the private sector. The Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade announced the extension of the social discount for those with many children, pensioners, and the poor.

The number of people who are economically active decreased to 4.15 million, breaking another negative record. However, the government remains optimistic as unemployment remains at 3.8% and there is a record shortage of 126,000 workers.

The ruling class tries to solve staffing shortages by assigning recent graduates and imposing fines for refusal. Such students are also forced to pay huge sums in case of expulsion.

The National Bank continues to stimulate economic development, as the refinancing rate declines to 9.5%.

The conflict of interest between Belaruskali and its customers was resolved in the Supreme Court with the help of the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, and not in favour of the potash monopolist, demonstrating that business groups have leverage and lobbyists within the state apparatus.

The ruling class effectively deprives opponents of political representation and continues its drive to depoliticize the electorate.

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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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