Alexander Klaskovsky: Well, people again will say: you're clowns!
The chief editor of the analytical information bulletin "Belarusian Week" of BelaPAN company, the political analyst Alexander Klaskovsky commented to UDF.BY on the he situation in opposition ranks over the last month before the start of elections campaign in the House of Representatives.
- Eighteen months have passed since Bloody Sunday. Belarusian opposition for one and a half years has made an incredible somersault in relation to the parliamentary campaign: from an absolute non-involvement while there are political prisoners, till the participation, boycotts, half-participation - complete chaos and anarchy. Even so, political prisoners are still an integral part of life in Belarus, and the regime is gaining more and more prisoners. Can you explain these freaking actions?
- Opposition after the Square was knocked down. Earlier, it also was not good in coordinating body movements, and here it totally swam. The authorities in a rude purely physical manner has knocked out many leaders and activists.
Besides, the strategy of the Square itself, that of "the storm and stress" was discredited, and they simply cannot generate another one in the brain centers of the regime's opponents.
To be fair, we need to add, that the West gradually reduced its demands. It hided the slogan of new elections without Lukashenko, seeing that today it's not popular. Perhaps, the West will swallow the release of political prisoners without rehabilitation. So, for the internal opposition it is also more difficult to articulate the maximalism.
But most importantly, its leaders have again shown a catastrophic failure to agree among themselves. In this sense, the Square where people were taken blindly as Lazarus, without a plan, didn't teach anything.
- Within the next month, as it is expected by many, the date of elections will be assigned. It seems that elections will be held on 23 September, as announced. The half-dead opposition is entangled in its own feet and don't know what to do next. Should they participate in this campaign? There are no elections, nobody is going to change the election law, despite the efforts of Dmitry Uss and his team, Lukashenko doesn't need "the fifth column" in the House of Representatives. So why then to take part?
- No one declared the participation "from" and "till", but the post-communists of "A Just World" Party. The concept of limited participation (to agitate and to go away) in principle is similar to the idea of boycott. But first of all, it confuses the voter, and secondly, "clear boycotters" don't share the snuff with "limited participants". That's the saddest thing - again, someone in the forest, and someone for firewood.
Belarusian everyman thinks bipolar: here is Lukashenko, and here are those who, in theory, against him. But those have full cacophony of slogans and war of all against all in their own camp. What is the reaction of ordinary voter? Correct: get last all of them, we're fed up!
- Everyone attacked the committee of Belarusian Social Democratic Party of Statkevich, who announced his intention to take part in the parliamentary elections. Ambiguous clues are expressed to the political prisoner, saying whether only Statkevich sends messages with the political content. And what does it mean? The opposition gained a steady syndrome of secret agent - when everyone sees an enemy in each other? If one has doubts in Statkevich - whom then to believe?
- On the one hand, it would be wrong to assume that any slogan behind bars is automatically have the ultimate truth. There are people, at least, in the situation of lacking information. However, Statkevich has always been a supporter of the elections, so there is nothing new.
With regard to attacks and bad hints, here, it's not excluded, the situation is when the time affects. Imagine that Statkevich will get at large unconquered. Then he immediately becomes in the eyes of democratic public the opposition leader number 1, the indisputable moral authority. So now, most likely, someone will try to subvert this authority.
In this case, it is not the political debate, but the immoral things.
- The political forces motivate their involvement in the campaign by the need to convey to people the truth. We will explain, enlighten the people - and we come to the presidential campaign with a strong united front. These stories we've heard nearly 20 years - we go-go-go from one campaign to another, but only came to the abyss. Maybe, indeed we should declare the boycott to the elections' parody?
- Yes, ideally it would be cool, nice, like in movies: from the nationwide boycott of the elections to the boycott of the regime. But today, in the future campaign, it is as real as a flight to Alpha Centauri constellation. For a strong, effective boycott huge resources are needed - money, an army of activists, media support, and other state of mind of masses.
Independent sociology shows the grapes of people's anger are not ripening, on the contrary, Lukashenko's rating has grown because of the Russian subsidies. People are not going at barricades, there are no mass absenteeism sentiments either. The idea of boycotting are supported by about 10%. The authorities without clicking a whip will get a high turnout. People go to the sites by inertia.
The second point: even those who are disillusioned with Lukashenko, are not in a hurry under the banner of his opponents. The credibility of the so-called opposition is low. Many has the mood as follows: a plague on both your houses!
- Each political force has its own vision of the current parliamentary election campaign, its goals and objectives. BPF has divided into participants and boycotters, UCP advocates the participation by non-participation, the organizing committee of the BCD - boycott, "A Just World" goes till the end, regions of the "Tell the Truth!" go to the polls, despite the attempts of their leader Vladimir Neklyaev to dissuade them from this crazy idea. It seems, this campaign will be the funeral of the opposition as such ...
- I'll add: "limited participants" are likely to break up too, some will tempt to go till the end in spite of party's preferences.
Hand on heart, the parliamentary election is not the kind of campaign, which can turn the situation. Parliament itself is zero. In this situation, when the victorious strategy doesn't exist at all, in principle, the opposition had one weapon - the unity. Any strategy would be stronger, if all the main players adopted it. And then, they would be able to finish the campaign with dignity, to create the platform for joint action for the future. Well, people again will say: you're clowns!