Reuters Tut.By via REUTERS
The Belarusian political researcher Denis Bukonkin wrote, in “Eurasia Expert”, about the maturation of factors of great social discontent in Pelaurs, and a golden opportunity for change that the official authorities have missed.
The article states: In February, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly convened in Minsk. Unfortunately, the authorities did not want to turn the session into a broad discussion forum to discuss the country’s current problems and future development prospects. The council was held in an atmosphere favorable to the authorities and did not provide any alternatives to the agenda proposed by the country’s leadership. Rather, no specific option was proposed for reforming the constitution. Thus, the future configuration of the country’s social and political structure has not been proposed.
At the same time, the increase in the tax burden since the beginning of 2021 has had a negative impact on large groups of Belarusian citizens. In the event of an economic downturn, this would lead to popular discontent and a willingness to take to the streets for more people.
The protest mood still persists in Belarusian society. However, in circumstances where the public expression of discontent might cost dearly, however, it has fallen into a lull. Thus, official Minsk will remain fond of pursuing a force-based scenario to quell the protests, without resolving the causes of the residents’ discontent, and will continue to rely exclusively on loyalists to the current government.
In general, a return to the protests in Belarus in the spring seems unlikely. But if a strategy for change is not developed by the authorities, and at the same time, the opposition revises its approach towards developing a clear and realistic strategy to confront official Minsk, then a resumption of protests appears highly likely in the summer.
Meanwhile, even if protests do not erupt in 2021, the discontent of a large portion of the population will continue to ripen, which will act as a catalyst for street activity and attempts to change the constitutional order. Therefore, official Minsk should take advantage of the respite created by the mistakes of the opposition and the exhaustion of the demonstrators’ strength to solve urgent problems and unify society.
The article expresses only the opinion of the newspaper or writer