Klaskouski: It's better to hold elections quickly, until the country hasn't fallen to the very bottom
"The whole story of moving the parliamentary elections can be a tricky pr-action, organized by the government. They need somehow to divert attention from socio-economic problems, from political prisoners. Such a false bait for Europe. The West will try to persuade to leave the old terms, the authorities will "pose" and agree. From the side it looks like democratization and a serious compromise, like another "victory" over the authoritarian regime", the political scientist Alyaksandr Klaskouski suggested in the interview to UDF.BY.
According to the Russian newspaper "Kommersant", Alyaksandr Lukashenka has plans to move the parliamentary elections from October to April 2012. Although the Central Election Commission still says there is no additional information on the terms of elections, but many politicians and analysts have serious reasons to think, this is not just a rumor.
UDF.BY talked to political analyst Alyaksandr Klaskouski and found out whether to wait for the parliamentary elections in April, and will they decide something at this time.
- Why is it advantageous to the authorities to move the parliamentary elections from October to April 2012?
- If to assume this version as a basis, then there is a logic in the authorities' actions. Firstly, the scheme of moving elections has been worked out already. Many forgot, the 2006 presidential elections were held almost six months earlier. The opposition then claimed, this was one of the factors prevented to "promote" Milinkevich. Secondly, Europe demands changes in the electoral legislation. If the elections is moved, they will say to the West, well, we would be glad, but technically we have no time to "pass" necessary amendments through parliament. Thirdly, the economic situation is worsening rapidly, and people become more embittered. Therefore, it's better to hold elections quickly, until the country hasn't fallen to the very bottom of the crisis pit.
- Maybe in such a way the authorities want to force opposition parties to boycott the elections? More than once the party leaders said, that in case of absence of changes in legislation and presence of political prisoners, they wouldn't participate in the elections.
- I don't think so. On the contrary, it's beneficial for the authorities, that the opposition participates today. The elections are under a full control. Counting is not transparent, observers are loyal. The opposition in this situation serves as a decoration, a cover for the West, which is aimed to show that we have pluralism and competition. If the opposition is allowed to the elections, then even a little chance of legitimacy will evaporate.
- A few weeks ago, Lukashenka at his meeting with Lidia Yarmoshina said, that the peak of social tensions occurred during the parliamentary elections. Is some kind of unrest and protest possible, caused by displease with the results of elections?
- The unrest is possible. Already, there are symptoms. The strike of street cleaners in Borisov, when the authorities met their demands, but didn't suppress their strike by force, this is a symptom. A spark is enough, and a flood of protests can go across the country. However, the authorities have already sharpened the additional repressive legislation and grown the power fist. Another aspect is that the parliamentary elections decide nothing. Even if we imagine an incredible situation, that the opposition won a majority in the parliament, in reality they won't manage to change anything.
- Can the falsification of elections serve as the spark that will provoke social explosion?
- Opponents of the power state talk about falsifications all the time, so the rhetoric is not new at all. The degree of intensity of the parliamentary election and its importance to the public is minimal. The average citizen has realized, that we have no parliament, and deputies decide nothing. So to increase the degree of discontent because of fraud in the parliamentary elections is unrealistic. Especially, with all the opposition rhetoric and apparent non-transparency of elections, it is extremely difficult to prove a fraud under current legislation.
- Secretary of the Belarusian Central Election Commission Nikolai Lozovik said, that he knew nothing about the initiative of moving the elections. And anyway, the president specifies the date. How to you think, what is the possibility of moving the date of elections , and on what factors it depends?
- So far, it's fifty-fifty. Lozovik and other functionaries do as they told to. With regard to senior management, I think a honey is sweet, but the bee stings. On the one hand there are factors I mentioned above, which make the authorities to think about the elections in April. On the other hand, despite the bravado of Lukashenka, the administration is still thinking how to normalize relations with the West, or at least to recover what have been lost over the last year.
- So, what it will depend on, what motives will prevail?
- Everything will depend on the dynamics of socio-economic situation. Most likely, the authorities will move the elections, only if it starts to deteriorate. The whole story of moving the parliamentary elections can be a tricky pr-action, organized by the government. They need somehow to divert attention from socio-economic problems, from political prisoners. Such a false bait for Europe. The West will try to persuade to leave the old terms, the authorities will "pose" and agree. From the side it looks like democratization and a serious compromise, like another "victory" over the authoritarian regime.