Presentation on theme: "BELARUS The Race of One against All and History"— Presentation transcript:
1 BELARUS 2012+ The Race of One against All and History Yauheni PreihermanCenter for Analytical InitiativesPA Discussion and Analytical Society Liberal Club
2 Core FragmentsParliamentary elections 2012: little to talk about, but…Political system under threat: smth new is knocking on the doorThe eternal question of the broken oppositionWhat the prospects look like?
3 Election 2012 central issue – BOYCOTT/TURNOUT* Boycotting opposition + government + pro-government parties and NGOs = quite an effect!!!General perception of the role of parliamentGeneral perception of the fairness of the electionTransformation of the social contract (?) or End of Lukashenka’s populist politics (?)*And that’s after last year’s financial crisis
4 Parliamentary elections predictive variables in the Belarusian consolidated authoritarianism
6 Unprecedented pressure on Lukashenka to start change Traditional:West (EU + US)Russia“Third column”ECONOMYRecent:Ruling elitesAbsolutely recent:Electorate at large
7 Change of the political system!!! The West wantsDemocratization(+ macroeconomic stabilization, microeconomic liberalization, privatization)Change of the political system!!!
8 Russia wantsMacroeconomic liberalization + privatization Change of the political system!!!
9 “Third column” wantsDemocratization Change of the political system!!!
10 What the ruling elites want More rents (privatization) + managed democracy Change of the political system!!!
11 What the electorate at large want Stable (growing) income It’s the economy, stupid! Change of the political system!!!
12 Change is knocking on the door “Everyone wants it, except for one person!”But THE ONE’s maneuvering field is shrinkingThe situation with Belaya Rus is very telling and indicativeIf Belaya Rus is transformed into a political party it will mean the end of the old politicsNew politics will bring further unpredictability, but the old politics will stay no less unpredictable
13 OPPOSITION never UNITED While the regime stays consolidated it does not really matter what strategies the opposition adheres to (boycott/participation or united/disunited)The opposition will never get united sitting around a negotiation tableOnly a strong political leader/organization can unite the others (who will simply join in an inferior status)A political organization is strong when its leader or platform (or both) enjoy considerable popularity in societyThe main problem of the internal and external anti-regime policies are exaggerated short-term expectations!
14 What can be a trigger? ECONOMY While the regime remains consolidated: multiple desire for change is not enoughthe opposition is incapable of transforming the situationECONOMY
15 Prospects: Need for Change GDP Growth in Jan-Aug 2012
16 Prospects: Need for Change Foreign Trade in Jan-Aug 2012
17 Prospects: Need for Change Economy Unstable performance.Uncertainty about economic rents from Russia.Demand for Belarusian goods and services under question.Risky concentration of the exports.Customs Union/CES/WTOOfficials on the run
18 Lukashenka’s only available option Some sort of (“radical”) authoritarian modernization But can it work out?
19 No, it cannot!!! Belarus is not Singapore Lukashenka factor (“Spartak”, Kommunarka”)Theory of transformations of this kindBelarusian practice (systemic curse)
20 Race until the runner is out Belarus is doomed to stable instability.The people are doomed to lack of sustainable growth.Unpredictability is enormous .The situation is definitely qualitatively new.If the opposition continue their usual way of behavior, changes will take place without their participation.
21 As of today, the situation looks exactly like this