In the situation created in Belarus after the elections of August 9, a mechanism should be identified with the involvement of representatives of the Council of Europe and of persons close to Alexandr Lukashenko so that the transition is ensured. A possibility is to organize new presidential elections under international control, with a more open and transparent electoral commission. Taking half a step back could bring Alexandr Lukashenko a victory in the new elections, even if not with 80% of the poll, but with half of the vote, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Victor Stepaniuc, political scientist, stated in the public debate “Situation in Belarus: mutual influences with world”, organized by IPN News Agency.
Victor Stepaniuc said that the political crisis in Belarus was generated by the non-recognition of the presidential elections. “When we speak about Belarus, we must realize that the President is at his sixth term in office and surely he enjoys big authority among the citizens of Belarus. But a large part of society, including supporters of the model he promotes, got tired of Lukashenko. The President should have realized this 4-5 years ago and should have made a transfer of power. In general, it goes to one of the tasks or main powers of the political elites – to take steps beforehand to recruit new political leaders for the future period. If these authoritarian people – parties, leaders, elites – do not take this into account, they take the country to a crisis,” explained the expert.
According to him, in this case the crisis is both a system one and a strictly political one, when a political leader by his message, during six terms in office, tries to persuade society that Belarus is he. But everyone is tired of “he”. The opposition in Belarus is different. A part of the opposition is pro-West and pleads for the pro-Western liberal development model. Among the opposition, there are also supporters of the People’s Republic of Belarus of 1918, who are the nationalists. Another part of the opposition is represented even by the center-left parties.
In this connection, the Belarusian democracy model deserves to be developed by multipartitism because the parties in the Belarusian political system were suppressed one way or another. This would enable the transition to democracy not to cause damage, first of all to the quality of the daily life in Belarus and also to the social development model that is favorable and meets the interests of the majority of citizens.
Victor Stepaniuc noted the consequences of the crisis will be yet seen. Alexandr Lukashenko now feels powerful and controls the situation. The opposition seems more divided, without a clear country development concept, and promotes the slogan “Down with Lukashenko!”, but it’s not clear if this is enough for the Belarusian society.
According to him, the question is to want extent the presidential elections were valid and are recognized. On the other hand, if it goes to democratic election organization rules, Lukashenko undoubtedly didn’t obey them. In general, they are permanently violated in authoritarian regimes and this is a reason for protests, for this crisis that hasn’t yet reached an apogee, but can end in several weeks with the so-called victory of Lukashenko. But this victory would not be decisive and would not be appropriate for him and the forces behind him.
The public debate “Situation in Belarus: mutual influences with world” was the 151st installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that are supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.