Opposition has key to privatisation
After the explosion in Minsk, the regime uses this tragedy for arrests of activists of the democratic movement of Belarus instead of searching for criminals. An unprecedented campaign on pressing the opposition and the civil society is carried out today. Organising pressing by the financial police of the State Control Committee, the authorities try to discredit the leaders of the democratic forces, human rights activists, journalists, regional opposition activists.
One of the leaders of the “European Belarus” civil campaign Zmitser Bandarenka, leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka, deputy head of the Belarusian Popular Front Vintsuk Vyachorka, leader of the Party of Communists of Belarus Syarhei Kalyakin, human rights activists Ales Byalyatski, Valyantsin Stefanovich, Uladzimir Labkovich, Vera Stramkouskaya, head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak, BHC members Tatsyana Protska, Harry Pahanyaila, Zmitser Markusheuski, journalist Iryna Khalip, as well as democratic candidates for the autumn “parliamentary elections” and candidates for members of electoral commissions were called to the Department of Financial Investigation and tax offices.
Hundreds of democratic activists in the country suffer from pressure of the financial police. The authorities act in a very cynical way by firing people at first and asking them to account for their financial status after that. Lukashenka has closed down dozens of independent newspapers, liquidated hundreds of non-governmental organisations, shut most of regional offices of opposition parties over the years of his rule. In fact, people who have democratic and pro-European views are banned from their profession. People are dismissed, their business is destroyed, employers are harassed for any activity, different from the ideology of Lukashenka.
The current events in Belarus look liked a carefully rehearsed performance, staged for the people and the international community by the authorities. As soon as Lukashenka begins to speak the elections will be fair and democratic, there comes a new wave of repressions against the opposition and the civil society. The more Lukashenka promises, the stricter actions of the secret services, riot militia, the whole administrative machine become. A list of repression measures that are already in use, namely unlawful arrests, beatings, tortures, trials, fines, prison sentences, firing and expulsion from universities, has been enlarged with tight financial persecution of the democrats and their family members. The purpose is real elimination of the opposition and the civil society in Belarus.
It is played to take attention off secret and unlawful large-scale privatisation, carried out by Lukashenka’s “family” and his inner circle. That is why legitimating the regime by means of the coming elections is vital for Lukashenka. The dictator understands his regime doesn’t have international legitimacy, neither he nor his “parliament” is recognised nowhere in the democratic world. But without this recognition it is impossible to attract investors for saving the regime from economic collapse. He counts to hold an uncontrolled privatisation with the help of cynical businessman from the West and the East. Moreover, the Belarusian state property is sold “on the cheap”, because Lukashenka needs money right now to pay back foreign loans and credits, he took over the last time in large quantities.
A possible scenario of recognition of dictatorship is known: presence of two or three opposition figures in the “house of representatives” and making the most odious persons from Lukashenka’s circle efface. According to the existing information, it is these conditions that are used by business groups to lobby Lukashenka’s interests in Europe. It is used to cover up shameless robbing of the Belarusian people. Lukashenka purposefully removes the last areas of civil control: in fact, there are no printed papers in the country, the authorities are trying to destroy the Internet community in Belarus. Absence of freedom of press, flagrant restrictions on activity of opposition parties, factual prohibition on activity of democratic non-governmental organisations, absence of independent legal system are used by the authorities for secret privatisation, saving of the regime and personal gain. One may just recollect the extra-budgetary fund of Lukashenka, look at villas of officials in Drazdy, extra class cars, belonging to them and their family members, to understand who profits from the privatisation.
Even such a sell-out of the Belarusian state property will make the representatives of the authorities and businessmen close to them richer by billions dollars. The people will receive nothing from it. The opposition has always stood against this kind of privatisation. Any machinations with state property will have no legal force without public control. New government of the democratic Belarus won’t recognise the results of such privatisation.
Lukashenka had all chances to accept the offers of the opposition and begin phased democratic reforms in the country. He didn’t use them and launched a war to destroy the opposition by using his usual methods.
Only restoration of democracy and law in the country will allow to attract really serious foreign investors to our country, improve life conditions of the majority of the Belarusians, make them be shareholders of leading enterprises. That is why the Belarusian democratic opposition, defending interests of the people, has a key to privatisation now.