Presidential elections in Belarus before the end of this year
On 14 September, during a special session, the Belarusian parliament set the presidential election for 19 December this year. Everything indicates that the elections will end in the re-election of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, despite the escalation in tensions between Minsk and Moscow.
According to the latest polls (from July) by the independent NISEP organisation, support for Lukashenka stands at around 45%, and it will certainly rise during the campaign under the influence of the state propaganda which predominates in the media. On the other hand, support for those opposition candidates who might stand against the president will not amount to more than a few percent, and nothing indicates that they will win any broader support in the next few months.
The elections were called for this year, even though according to the constitution the last possible deadline was 6 February next year. It seems that the main reason for this decision is the worsening state of Russian/Belarusian relations. It cannot be ruled out that the growing divisions between the two states will lead to another energy crisis at the turn of this year, which could make the current president’s election campaign difficult.
Lukashenka’s expected re-election in the elections on 19 December will strengthen his position in negotiations with Moscow on next year’s conditions for energy supplies, which was certainly one of the reasons why the election date was moved up. <kam>