Tihanovskaya is ready to become a national leader
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who, according to the CEC, received the second result in the elections, also made a statement on Monday – it was posted on social networks. Noticing that she did not and did not have any illusions about a political career, she said that she was “ready to take responsibility and act in this period as a national leader.” Before the start of the election campaign, Tikhanovskaya, who is now in Lithuania, did not work, raised children, and her husband, blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, was engaged in social activities.
On Saturday, the headquarters of Tikhanovskaya proposed to create a council for the transfer of power, to which everyone, representing different categories of society, can enter. “The Coordinating Council is an expanded working group of the most respected members of society, which should discuss and develop safe and stable mechanisms to ensure the transfer of power,” the headquarters said in a statement. More than 200 people submitted applications.
In addition, the failed presidential candidate Valery Tsepkalo announced the creation of the National Salvation Front of Belarus.
Not all opposition politicians share the idea of creating parallel power institutions.
“I am against any bodies that duplicate the functions of the state. We don’t need dual power, ”insists presidential election participant Andrei Dmitriev (1.2% of the vote, according to the CEC). “We need to remain in the legal field, so we demand to convene an extraordinary session of parliament. At this session, it is necessary to consider three requirements that are put forward by all protesters: new elections with new composition of election commissions at all levels and the recognition of the past elections as invalid; freedom of all political prisoners and peace on our streets – no riot police with closed faces, no pressure on peoplewho are on strike, ”Dmitriev listed in a conversation with RBC. The politician has prepared an appeal to the deputies of the lower house with a proposal to hold an extraordinary meeting and knows that several deputies share this idea.
“Nobody wants Maidans and revolutions, we have no geopolitical choice here, we will remain committed to all agreements, we understand the security interests of Russia and will follow in their mainstream. We are solving only one internal issue: the Belarusian people want to choose their own government and feel safe in their own country, ”says Dmitriev.
Ex-deputy Anna Kanopatskaya, who also participated in the elections (1.7% of the vote), agrees that it is necessary to remain in the legal field. “Any calls for the creation of a government, for the recognition of a different president are contrary to the current legislation,” she insists. In her opinion, the only legal way to get out of the crisis is to hold repeat elections with a new CEC chairman. The reason for not recognizing the elections, she calls not falsifications, but the fact that they were appointed by the illegitimate composition of the House of Representatives, therefore, the Constitutional Court must recognize the current composition of the Chamber as unconstitutional, restore the powers of the sixth convocation, and that, in turn, must appoint new elections.
Deputy of the House of Representatives from the Communist Party Andrei Syrankov told RBC that he knew nothing about the possible convocation of the lower house of parliament. He considers the ongoing protests “another attempt to thwart the political will of the leader and stop the economy of Belarus, which even the coronavirus could not stop.” “This is a scenario that is unambiguously worked out according to the training manual of Gene Sharp, the task is to overthrow Lukashenka, and no one knows what will happen next. Now they are calling for dialogue, but with whom to dialogue? The opposition does not have a single united leader, ”he sums up.
What determines the further development of events
At the moment, it is difficult to imagine negotiations between Lukashenko and the opposition on the transfer of power, Arkady Moshes, director of the research program for the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and for Russia at the Finnish Institute of International Relations, told RBC. In his opinion, the republic’s authorities do not see the need for such discussions or serious concessions: the split of the elites in the republic is minimal, and Lukashenka feels safe. He freely moves around the country, enlisted the support of Russia, the analyst said.
“The issue of negotiations on the transfer of power will become relevant only if the intensity of the protests grows and the security forces find it more difficult to control the security situation of the elites. The protest should gain control over at least a minimal territory of the country – this would be the embodiment of its ability to establish power over part of the country, ”Moshes said. He noted that control over the territory has become one of the components of the success of the Ukrainian opposition on the Maidan.
The intensity of protests persists, the opposition is forming a coordinating council and has already presented the first list of its members, said Alexei Makarkin, professor at the Higher School of Economics National Research University. According to him, it is more and more difficult for Lukashenka to avoid a dialogue with her. “At the same time, the list of council members is people with whom it will be very difficult for Lukashenka to come to terms. These are not former officials of his regime, but representatives of the opposition and civil society who do not recognize the legitimacy of the current president, ”the expert explained.
Lukashenka’s behavior is difficult to predict, Makarkin notes. “The President does not trust either the opposition or the West as a mediator in the negotiations on the transit of power. On the one hand, on Monday he first started talking about his resignation after the adoption of the Constitution, on the other hand, he is offended at the protesters, especially in the working environment, and claims that he will not give in to pressure, ”the expert said. The negotiation process will be further complicated by the fact that the opposition itself does not trust Lukashenka either and is unlikely to be able to give him security guarantees, given the scale of repression against the protesters, he added.
At the same time, a scenario is possible in which Lukashenka’s departure will be accelerated due to a split within the elites under the onslaught of protests, the expert said. “The image of Lukashenka no longer looks sacred, ordinary citizens have lost their fear of power. If an orderly negotiation process does not begin, then many of the president’s entourage will start thinking about their future and looking for their own rescue strategies, ”concluded Makarkin.
In general, there are three scenarios for how the situation in Belarus can develop, Arkady Moshes believes. First, it is possible that the protests will grow and the republic’s security forces will not be able to contain them. In this case, Lukashenka will soon leave. Secondly, the protest may still fizzle out, and in this case, Lukashenka will be able to buy more time.
“Strategically, the current regime in Minsk will still be doomed, but it will be able to exist for several more years – until the next large-scale wave of discontent,” the expert explained. Finally, thirdly, a serious destabilization may occur in the country, in which a network protest will coexist with uncontrolled police actions and the intervention of external forces. According to Moshes, the probability of the first two scenarios is equal, the third scenario is the least likely, but it should not be completely ruled out either.