Prospects for regime change in Belarus

The article under this title on the website of the American Foundation Jamestown renowned Canadian researcher David Marples examines the pre-election situation in Belarus.

The upcoming elections always makes analysts in Belarus ask a familiar question: is it possible to this election regime change or not? Are Belarusians general rule of Alexander Lukashenko? Will the current conflict with Russia before its fall, and if so, who will succeed him?

Before each election, Lukashenko takes the pose of a man too busy to be interested in small parts of the election campaign. In mid-July, he said that his priorities right now — it is close to harvest, the decisions on the annual and five-year budget, and the convening of so-called All-Belarusian People's Assembly. Also traditionally, it has chided the opposition. According to Lukashenko, her goal — to own zbagachenne by grants from Western sources. He stressed that all the opposition lives on these grants and has no job.

Recently (June) public opinion poll conducted by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political

Lukashenko has an appreciable advantage over their rivals.

Research (NISEPI) shows that Lukashenko has an appreciable advantage over their rivals. In addition, in response to a question whether life will change for the better after Lukashenka, only 22.4% said yes, 25.2% said they would be worse, and 34.8% were of the opinion that nothing will change.

Nevertheless, 62% of respondents said that Belarus needs changes. With regard to personal popularity, according to research support Lukashenko has increased from 42.7 to 45.6% as a result of the last of the gas conflict with Russia

62% of respondents said that Belarus needs changes.

The survey also found that among the supporters of Lukashenko dominated by women, and the age of retirement. The least likely to vote for him, young people and those with higher education. Among the candidates of the opposition leaders of the rating Milinkevich (5.4%) and Alexander Kozulin (4.4%). When asked who they would support in the presidential election, respondents called Lukashenko, Milinkevich, Kozulin, Sergei Haidukevich (also a former presidential candidate and a supporter of Lukashenko), as well as the Prime Minister of Belarus. Sidorsky took 5th place in the ranking, although he did not state their wish to participate in the election of 2011.

According to the former Secretary of Labor Alexander Sosnová reason for the relative popularity Sidorsky is his fame and his public image.

What do the polls

From the study should be NISEPI 3 pins. The first is that although Lukashenko remains the most popular politician in the country, he does not gain a majority in the first round of democratic elections. If there is a second round (the last time he was in the 1994 election), the rival Lukashenko, having access to the media, would be an obvious candidate for the presidency in the future.
This is a bad scenario for Lukashenko, who prefers to represent the opposition representative of the isolated minority groups.

Secondly, the fact that an approximately equal number of respondents in favor of relations with the EU and Russia, both directions are not too popular. The meaning of this phenomenon is, apparently, that preference is given to harmonious relations with its neighbors, with priority given to domestic politics. More than 62% believe that the economic improvement is more important than ensuring the independence of the country.

An increasing number of people believe that Belarus has weathered the economic crisis.

Third, the study found that many people believe that Belarus has weathered the economic crisis, despite the short-term deterioration in their financial situation.

This is — a key issue for the presidential candidates of the opposition. The power to prevent a full-scale impact of the crisis by borrowing money (mostly from Moscow, preserving the old industries, as well as a propaganda campaign under nationalist slogans and criticized the Russian leadership.

Finally Belarusians — practical people, and if they do not see any prospect of improving the lives of the alternatives, they pereizberem Lukashenko, although research has shown that they are not very happy with his leadership and the activities of institutions such as the police, courts and tax authorities.

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