The presidential or parliamentary elections scheduled for 2020 may be brought forward to autumn 2019, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, said on Wednesday.
According to political analyst Pavel Usau, there have already been precedents when presidential elections in Belarus were earlirized.
Parliamentary campaigns have never been moved to an earlier date, but presidential elections were preponed twice – in 2006 and 2010. In both cases, the authorities set the date in cold months in order to prevent protesters from taking to the streets.
“They have always have motivation in such a style – to disorient the opposition, not to grant them enough time to get ready for the elections and so on,” Usau says.
In his opinion, Lukashenka’s ease in making preponements is another proof of the existence of the authoritarian political system in Belarus.
“We know that the elections do not change anything, and we witness such manipulations. In democratic countries, earlirizing a parliamentary or presidential election by the year would cause strong criticism. It is impossible to reduce the powers of a parliament or president by a year. But in Belarus there will be no difference whether the elections will be held in 2019 or tomorrow. At the moment, there are no conditions for emerging a strong alternative [to Lukashenka], not to speak of such scenario as post-election protests in 2010,” the expert believes.