The support base of Lukashenka’s regime narrows as demands for more collegial decision-making grow
Facing falling GDP, the regime redistributes budgetary resources favouring the state apparatus and the siloviki and restricts information on public finances to reduce societal tensions. Some within the ruling class promote the idea of a formal party system, strengthening collegiality in governance.
Ministers attempt to mobilise and stabilise the state apparatus in the face of falling GDP as Lukashenka lashes out at officials and the political leadership focuses on direct intervention in the management of state-owned companies. Meanwhile, the authorities redistribute funds to secure the loyalty of officials and security forces. The government has determined the monetary compensation for the costs of civil servants renting housing.
However, the authorities refuse to buy the loyalty of broad population groups. The promised growth in public sector salaries does not compensate for losses from high inflation.
Some Belarusian nomenklatura continue to promote the idea of moving towards a “managed” party system. A final decision on the form of this system has not been reached, but the group led by Gaidukevich intends to clear the legal field from competitors from the party opposition.
The leadership fears strengthening the nomenklatura’s group interests and the challenge to the personalist model. Lukashenka’s media presence is increasing. An additional constitutional amendment to elect the head of state at the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is considered. However, some of the ruling class do not support the idea and advocate the popular election of the president.
State policy toward the private sector reduces the number of entrepreneurs and personnel flight from the IT sector. The authorities continue to surcharge the private sector to bolster the state budget through fines and inspections. For example, MART checked the places of sale of electronic cigarettes and vaping liquids.
Transparency and accountability of state bodies continue to deteriorate. Belstat began to redact information about the national debt and budget from Belarusians and the IMF.
Persecution of dissidents continues, and Lukashenka promised to announce another decision on the Day of National Unity regarding those who fled from repressions.
Political parties are expected to be re-registered with the liquidation of opposition parties and further purges of public organisations.
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Situation in Belarus