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Byelorussia: ideological struggle is gaining momentum

Byelorussia: ideological struggle is gaining momentum

Socio-political crisis continues in Belarus. Belarusian authorities expect to overcome it through constitutional reform. In its turn, opponents of the President of Belarus Alexandra Lukashenko consider all the current actions of the leadership of the republic an attempt to maintain power. The main battles have moved into the information space and now concern the upcoming 6th All-Belarusian People's Assembly on February 11-12 (VNS).
Carrying out VNS, at the request of the Belarusian authorities, should become a defining event in the life of the state. It will not only be summed up, as in previous years, results of the past five-year plan, but also discussed options for the development of the republic for the next five years. Previously stated, that VNS should be that event, where representatives of the entire Belarusian people will decide, which way the state should develop in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the attitude towards the upcoming forum even among the authorities of Belarus remains ambiguous.

In particular, previously it was about, that VNS will be held "in order to implement the constitutional right of citizens to participate in the discussion of issues of state and public life of the country". The main topic was to be a discussion of the constitutional reform. For this, so-called dialogue platforms were organized throughout the country in the fall of last year., where they collected proposals from citizens to submit them to the country's parliament. Later it became known, that all proposals will be processed and sent to the training authorities of the ANS. Despite, that representatives of the opposition were either not allowed to participate in the dialogue, either did not have the opportunity to convey their point of view, the authorities managed to collect more than one thousand requests from the Belarusians.

In early January, the deputy head of the presidential administration, head of the working group of the republican organizing committee for the preparation of the VI All-Belarusian People's Assembly Andrei Kuntsevich He stated, that the citizens of the republic contributed from above 17 thousand. proposals for "further development of the republic to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly". In parallel, it was announced, that the online meeting platform has been launched, where offers are also received daily. It turned, that Belarusians are interested in a variety of issues, from social support and the cost of housing and communal services to the development of the economy and changes in legislation. The organizing committee for the forum said, that proposals will be processed in preparation for the forum and brought up for discussion. At the same time, questions, concerning housing and communal services, social sphere and other, will be sent "to the relevant republican government bodies, local authorities, other organizations for response and subsequent decision ". In this way, the Belarusian authorities plan to submit to the ANS some serious program for the further development of the country, based on the expectations of ordinary citizens.

However, recently it has become obvious, that the resonance in the Belarusian society regarding, who and how will conduct VNS, forces the leadership of the republic to adjust its position. In particular, at the end of last year, the President of Belarus said, what would like, for the ANC to become the new constitutional body, supervising governors, deputies, ministers and other government officials. At the same time, it was proposed to give the meeting a constitutional form, and delegates, one of which is always the Belarusian leader himself (this time he was delegated from the Mogilev region), will have to appoint 5 years.

However, later Lukashenka changed his position., and the agenda at the VNS has once again become vague.

“I am reproached for, that I want to prolong my rule there in this way ... Listen, complete nonsense. If I want to expand my power, then I have every opportunity to remain president. I will be the chairman of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly. the, who fears, that Lukashenka will remain in power, must pray, so that I become something of the chairman of this meeting. Nobody will send insane powers to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly. The head of state will be the president. This is you choose. The prime minister will, parliamentarians and others ", - he said 31 December.

Subsequently, the situation became even more confusing.. 10 January the program "Characters from Naily Asker-zade», which was recorded before the New Year. In it, Lukashenka just did not rule out, that amendments to the Constitution of Belarus will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.

"Amendments to the constitution - maybe, if delegates are ready for this, will be indicated. And their introduction will be exclusively at a referendum ", - he said, adding, that the country can draft a new basic law by the end 2021 of the year.

At the same time, earlier it was about changes, which will be submitted to a referendum this year. Now it is not clear, will have time to draw up a new constitution by the end of the year, how long will it take to organize and hold a referendum and will there be any new presidential elections at all, as in August - September, Lukashenka promised. This situation suggests, that today is not an unambiguous opportunity to discuss constitutional reform at the upcoming ANC and make some landmark decisions.

The likelihood of such a scenario is evidenced by the fact, how is the nomination of delegates to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly. In accordance with the decree of the President of Belarus on the conduct of VNS, the total number of its participants and invitees will be 2,700 people. This is far from a record: the first forum was attended by 4,740 delegates. Today it is planned, that from each region no more than 310 human, and from Minsk - no more 370. Moreover, all of them are elected taking into account the norms of representation by local Councils of Deputies and public associations.. Officially, the participants of the meeting can be adults and citizens registered at the place of residence., as well as deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly. The invited persons are determined by the republican organizing committee under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Belarus Romana Golovchenko. Representatives of local and republican authorities may be included in this list, members of international organizations and diplomats, journalists and others.

As the latest data show, the delegates of the future meeting will be mainly local officials, as well as employees of state enterprises and institutions of different levels. According to Andrey Kuntsevich, the stake is placed on the deputies of councils of all levels and the assets of the largest public associations.

"I think, that it is this diversity that will allow us to find the right vector for the country's development. And most importantly, there is a feeling, that for them Belarus is not a game of monopoly. They firmly understand, that the country is not about cutlets or ribbons, the country is about the fate of people, the fate of their children and grandchildren ", - said the representative of the presidential administration, adding, that such delegates "already have a certain mandate from their fellow countrymen and work colleagues" and "they are familiar with the architecture of decision-making".

It is not surprising, that the Belarusian authorities themselves have determined the formula for the composition of the VNS: 70% deputies of various levels, 30% members of public organizations with a population of at least 1,000 people. In the latter case, we are talking only about pro-government structures. for example, a well-known public organization in the country "Belaya Rus" puts forward 250 human, the Belarusian Union of Women controlled by officials - 135, Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM) — 140. Besides, representatives of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus and the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans will attend the forum. Not yet known, will representatives of labor collectives be included in the lists, which the authorities had previously relied on. After incidents at a number of state-owned enterprises, related to protests against the results of the presidential elections, trust in them from the leadership of the republic has changed somewhat, and at present there is no information about the mass nomination of delegates from them. The media leaks only information about, that some of the appointed members of the ANC were not aware of their nomination and have nothing to do with politics.

What is happening today around the upcoming forum not only does not calm the society, but also used by opponents of Lukashenka in order to warm up the situation in the country. Especially on the background of the, that none of the opposition representatives were invited to the forum and, apparently, it will not fall. In particular, supporter of an ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya former Minister of Culture Pavel Lettuce already stated, that the current approach to the election of delegates is contrary to Belarusian legislation. According to him, the law "On republican and local assemblies" allows you to nominate your representatives to the people's assemblies, labor collectives, political parties, religious communities and other groups. However, it is not respected, and therefore, not only the law is violated, but also the country's constitution, what falls under the heading of a crime 190 and 424 Criminal Code of Belarus - violation of the equality of citizens and abuse of power or official powers. In this regard, Latushko has already initiated the inclusion procedure with 18 January, all delegates of the WPC to the sanctions lists.

Besides, understanding, that you are not destined to get to the VNS, and this forum will be used by the authorities to legitimize their subsequent decisions, Belarusian opposition decided to retaliate. true, the recent actions of Lukashenka's opponents only convince analysts that, that a split is ripening among them and there is no talk of any unity today.

In particular, at first Tikhanovskaya stated, that the people's response to the All-Belarusian Assembly will be the Assembly platform, which will be an instrument of "direct democracy, which will allow a Belarusian to make decisions and propose ideas for a new Belarus ". Later, a politician who fled from Belarus Valery Cleaver announced the creation of the Belarusian Democratic Forum - platform, the purpose of which is to unite "all sound forces in constitutional reforms as a reasonable alternative to the popular majority in response to a pseudo-national National Assembly". 14 January Tihanovskaya again recalled the alternative to VNS, which will be held on the "SHODE" platform (replacement "Alternative"). However, she indicated, what plans to convey to the authorities of the republic proposals, which will be discussed on this site. However, today it is still not clear, how the Belarusian opposition plans to prove the all-Belarusian basis of its platforms, since they are organized exclusively online, where opponents of Lukashenka, although the majority, but they cannot represent the entire Belarusian society in any way.

In any case, it's worth admitting, that the upcoming VNS will be a serious test for Belarus. His decisions will somehow affect the further politicization of the Belarusian society, and opponents of the existing government will try to use the forum to further shake the situation in the country.

Natalia Grigorieva

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