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Tag: political system

The new dualism of Belarusian politics

In February 2024, Belarus will hold a parliamentary election, the first contest since the rigged presidential election of 2020. The democratic opposition is barred from participating and has called for a boycott. While the outcome of the election itself is pre-determined, the process is an illustration of the development of a new dualism in the Belarusian political system.

More than three years after the events which initiated a new dynamic in Belarusian political history and significantly impacted changes within the system, the first electoral campaign awaits us in February of this year. While rightfully labelled “elections without choice” by many researchers, it does not mean that they will be devoid of significance. In attempting to analyse and study the Belarusian case, we must agree that the term “Belarusian politics” itself has become dualistic. When discussing it, we often refer to two clearly different dimensions, or at the very least, two different levels.

February 7, 2024 - Maxim Rust

Belarusian political elites: new, imagined, lost?

The reality in today’s Belarus is that of decreased enthusiasm and less social mobilisation. The ruling elite of the Lukashenka regime is still wielding power and a large part of the society that was active during the 2020 protests is now living abroad or imprisoned.

When today we reflect on the protest movement that started in Belarus in 2020, we can see that one of its distinguishing features were the so-called new faces of the opposition that the whole world focused on and admired. Namely, the world became fascinated by the new Belarusian political leaders who were expected, and hoped for, to change, or fix, the country’s political system, drawing on the then enormous social energy that translated into political mobilisation unprecedented for Belarus.

December 7, 2022 - Maxim Rust

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