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An electoral cycle which spans a year and a half

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

The year 2024 holds immense significance in the political calendar for both dictator Lukashenko and Belarusians who advocate for democracy. 

After the illegal referendum of 2022, the All-Belarusian People's Assembly was granted the status of a constitutional body. According to Lukashenko's constitution, the Supreme Council is required to convene for its inaugural meeting within 60 days following the election of "deputies."

Therefore, the actual "elections" themselves hold no significance. However, considering the growing importance of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly, it becomes evident why it is crucial for the regime to conduct the February "election" campaign in a controlled manner, devoid of any alternatives.

Once the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is convened, which must occur no later than 60 days after the "non-elections" as per the constitution, the Presidium of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly and, most importantly, the Chairman of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly will be elected. In our case, there is no doubt that Lukashenko will assume these positions.

It is highly likely that on April 20, the first All-Belarusian People’s Assembly in Belarusian history, which holds constitutional status, will be convened. Subsequently, Lukashenko will assume the role of its chairman, simultaneously combining two positions.

Considering the dictator's emphasis on the importance of this year and the heightened mention of the presidential elections, it is plausible to speculate that the dictator's presidential campaign may commence after the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. Although he can legally hold both positions until July 2025, the specter of August 2020 will likely push him to hold the presidential elections earlier than the summer of 2025.

A well-developed scheme involving a single day of voting in February seems logical, as society would adjust to the idea of winter elections when people are less inclined to go out and prefer to wait for spring.

As a result, two realistic scenarios can be envisioned regarding how Lukashenko might address the issue of preventing dual power:

  1. He combines both positions and runs for presidential elections in the winter of 2025. In this case, since everything revolves around a single individual, no alternative center of power would be created.

  2. The dictator assumes the role of the chairman of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, and someone who is incredibly loyal to Lukashenko runs in the presidential elections without attempting to establish any alternative. In our view, the only individual who fits this description would be a member of the dictator's family, specifically Viktor Lukashenko.

A scenario is also conceivable in which Lukashenko assumes the role of chairman of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, while a person who aligns with the Kremlin runs in the presidential elections. This individual would function within the system established by the dictator. However, this scenario is likely to result in a power struggle, causing Lukashenko to lose whatever remnants of his diminished authority remain. Operational control will shift away from his hands, allowing Moscow to exert a more active influence on internal political processes in Belarus.

Belarus has entered an election cycle that spans one and a half years. To determine the appropriate course of action, it is crucial to analyze the situation and devise solutions for implementation. We will present our proposed options for action.



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