We are meeting for the good of the country,
and we are uniting at the Congress,
but the problem is, we do not understand,
that we cannot beat Lukashenko…
Belarus is a unique country not only from the political and historical point of view, but also because it represents a distinctive phenomenon that “disproves” all philosophical stereotypes and rules of logic. Particularly high standard in this area has been achieved by the Belarusian opposition.
Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclites once said: “Everything flows, nothing is left unchanged” and “you cannot step into the same river twice.” Nevertheless, the political processes running inside the Belarusian opposition prove that one can step into the same river more than once and regardless of the fact that the whole world is changing, the Belarusian opposition does not change its activities and opinions which applies to politics as well. This postulate was confirmed by the Congress of Democratic Forces which took place in Minsk on May 25. – 26.
Every political event will have a place in history, or in other words, will become historical. To say what place in Belarusian history the already mentioned Congress has taken or to evaluate its significance for democratic public and the country as a whole is going to be difficult. Despite that, we can with certainty say that the accepted decisions and new stratification of forces in the opposition are not going to bring anything new to the political situation in the country and to the opposition itself.
In the same time we cannot say that the Congress has turned a new page in the political life of the democratic opposition and did not become a logical end of a certain political era in the development of citizenship. Basically the Congress has become a continuation of permanent tacking of opposition from conflict to conflict, from searching for a new strategy and leaders to their removal from pedestals and the rejection of previous strategies. A year ago almost all representatives of opposition were trying to persuade citizens that A. Milinkievich is the alternative for Belarus that he is the true leader; and now they are as strongly trying to prove that Milinkievich is not the leader of united opposition. And as it turned out there is no united opposition, but positive conditions were created for unification.
The Congress did not have a symbolic or added value and it became only a reflection of inner situation in Belarusian opposition. In other words, the Congress has confirmed the results of the many year activities of opposition, which included a general failure of political strategy, if there was one, the failure of the idea of a one leader (if there was one), united opposition and a common political goal (if there were any). In case these issues did not exist, there is no sense in talking about the existence of a real political opposition in Belarus.
On top of it, it is sad to state, that neither the contents of the Congress, nor the steps it has accepted do not contain anything that would introduce new currents or made people think. Everything had taken a trivial course, without unexpected events. That is the reason why the analysis of these events will be less political and more of ironic. If there was some kind of political theater – as political processes are sometimes called – present before, now it is probably correct to state that politics in the opposition vanished and all that stayed was theater. One cannot watch certain things, manifestations and activities of individual representatives of opposition without smiling.
We can begin by stating that every action should have a motive, which leads a person to acting, and a goal which that person wants to achieve. If it is different, we can talk about the weakness of human mind or about inadequate reactions to reality.
Nobody can doubt that the lay-out of the Congress followed certain goals and motivations of people who stood behind it. But when we scrutinize these goals and steps leading to the achievement of goals we can come to the conclusions that
a) organizers have set different goals than those that were published, or
b) they have decided to use wrong mechanisms for their achieving in which case the results were different.
In other words, goals that the organizers defined were not only in general accord, but from the beginning they were hiding differences that had to lead to the opposite result – of course, as long as this result was not planned from the beginning. It is needed to re-analyze the deeper logic in the thinking of some opposition leaders.
The main organizers of the Congress – S. Kaliakin, A. Buchvostov, A. Lebedko and others were certain that the goal of the Congress was the unification of all democratic forces. For example in the beginning of May, Aleksandr Buchvostov, the chairman of the organization committee when justifying the necessity of Congress actions said: “If we linger with the solution of organization development of democratic forces, their controlling, coordinating activities, the result will be a paralysis of activities and the absence of coordination.”1
Sergej Kaliakin during the Congress stated: We came to the Congress with the aim at working for Belarus. To ask for a unification of all democratic forces. So they could work after the Congress more effectively.” 2
We can spot a deep collision in these statements from the beginning, which questions the adequacy of understanding of what was happening and is happening in the country.
First of all – „organization development of united democratic” forces stretches for some years now. On one side it again emphasizes the fact that united democratic forces never existed and all efforts were useless. The last two Congresses only confirmed that. But on the other side, the representatives of coalition claimed for a long time that united opposition (with exceptions) exists and that Aleksandr Milinkievich was elected a leader of united democratic forces. It follows that the united opposition never existed and the process of its building has started only now, the organizers of the last Congresses and especially opposition leaders were simply misleading the democratic society as well as Belarusian citizens. On top of it, Milinkievich himself becomes in regard of these facts a liar. Naturally, the leaders of Belarusian opposition can find an explanation very quickly and say that “until then there was an altogether different configuration of political forces which does not correspond with the present situation and it requires great changes and their mobilization, to begin working with citizens and launch a large attack at the political regime.”
Besides that it is important to point out that the united opposition in recent past was “build” by the same people who “build” it today. Because the united opposition was not built earlier, it is logical, that the “builders” should leave, because otherwise they accuse themselves of incapability. And because that did not happen and the “builders” stayed, it means they guarantee that not even this year’s Congress would lead to unification.
Second of all – if we acknowledge that there exists something like a united opposition and there were created conditions for cooperation, why would it be necessary to organize a second Congress that split the “united opposition” and deepened the clashes inside the democratic public.
The approach to the realization of the Congress itself predestined the Congress to a failure. The idea of the realization of the Congress was dividing the opposition from the start, but for the political leaders it had become more attractive than the prospect of maintaining political balance inside the opposition. Regardless of the obvious splitting, the organizers did nothing to clarify the situation. The democratic public was put before a finished thing and it occurred in an allegedly democratic manner. The already mentioned Buchvostov during the preparations of the Congress announced: “Some want a Congress, others do not. That is why there is such tension around the question whether there should be a Congress or not. But we said “to be” and we are speeding up the preparations.”3 It is odd enough that the same kind of statements and methods of political relations are being used inside the democratic community as were used by the authoritarian regime. The opposition is divided into “us” and “them” and the differences are nor being solved in a discussion, but by pressing the will of individual leaders.
Taking this into account we can say that the opposition does not have a constructive approach towards settling internal differences. Authoritarian values operate in the consciousness of leaders and ordinary members of various organizations and these authoritarian values do not allow compromise, which is the guarantee of real democracy. This disposes of every possibility of further development of political culture and understanding of the meaning of democracy. Words of Kiryl Ignatik, one of the leaders of the youth wing of United Civil Party (OGP) and a representative of this party at the Congress, confirm that for many politicians democracy is a word deprived of its meaning: “some people wanted to disrupt the work of Congress by changing it to a platform of slogan democracy instead of real democracy. If we cannot behave among ourselves with dignity and preserve democratic procedures, what can we say about the perspective in case the opposition comes to power.”4 We have to say clearly that democracy either is or is not. And what kind of democratic procedures are we talking about when the approach to the Congress itself was far from democratic. Concerning the term “slogan democracy”, it is a very interesting definition. It is difficult to characterize its features and describe the process of its functioning on the present.
We could understand this phenomenon as populism or e.g. as obstructive behavior, which would more closely fit to the situation that occurred at the Congress, but is it “slogan democracy”? We can encounter this phenomenon perhaps only in cases when the questions of political nature are being solved through slogans (in the physical sense slogans serve as a weapon for beating opponents over the heads), but it certainly occurs according to rules and agreed procedures. We can say right now that this definition is going to be a new discovery in political sciences.
Overall scientist should pay close attention to the contents of the political discourse of Belarusian opposition. It is enough to mention that individual leaders and political activists in opposition very boldly juggle with words and terms without understanding their meanings. Then they very quickly forget about them and on top of it violate democratic principles. Three very important questions emerge from this situation. Without answering them we cannot talk about political progress in opposition and in its control, and about extending its political culture and awareness:
1. When will the democratic leaders bear responsibility for their words?
2. When will the democratic leaders start thinking about what they say and in front of whom they say it?
3. When will the political leaders understand that Belarusian public does not consist of idiots to whom they can say whatever comes first to their minds?
While analyzing the events at the Congress let us once again concentrate on the specific features of political rhetoric of the opposition’s leading representatives.
The tradition of political rupture
While analyzing the “unification-divisional” process and goals of the Congress we have to more closely analyze even such political state as the “rupture in Belarusian opposition” – what has become its immanent feature. Throughout the analysis of this problem we will use the method “proposed” by S. Kaliakin in his comment on the running of the Congress and the disputes in some issues. He answered a journalist’s question whether he counts with the option that the Congress might sooner divide than unify democratic forces in these words: “If someone wants, he will try to divide. But in my opinion all those who will try to advocate some kind of a division, are agents of KGB and dictatorship.” Regardless of the resemblance of this approach to the Leninist approach and to the popular Bolshevist phrase “who is not with us is against us”, it allows us to evaluate the running processes in the country before and during the Congress.
We will try to describe “Kalikian’s method” in a more detailed way. All those who were against the process of the Belarusian opposition unification are then “agents” of dictatorship and KGB. But it is difficult to define who is actually for the unification of opposition and who is against.
Let us return to Buchvostov’s statements. The idea of summoning a Congress was the reason for rupture in the opposition which has split into “us” and “them” – those who wanted the Congress and those who opposed the idea. If the idea of Congress really divided the opposition, the “agents” are those who prepared the Congress (including Mr. Kaliakin) and thus deepened the rupture inside opposition. On the other hand if there has always been a rupture in the opposition, there is the question of which part was the KGB agent?
We have to pay attention to the fact that traditions of rupture in Belarusian opposition are very strong and tendencies to act independently were stronger than the will to act together. That is why the more the opposition unifies the more it seems divided. The experience with the unification of social democratic parties shows that the main reason for rupture is the unification (a new rule of dialectics).
Many of the Congress’s participants and political analysts emphasized the fact that a rupture of the opposition happened: “Political and spiritual rupture will hardly be confirmed “officially”. But it is obvious that one part of the opposition turns to a more “parliamentary” strategy with components of compromise with the power while awaiting its evolution. The other part turns to a more active and a non-compromise strategy of fighting in the streets. After the Congress we cannot rule out the possibility that both parts will go their separate ways.” 5
To a certain measure the opposition has never been really united, there were always ruptures; only the lines of ruptures and reasons for ruptures were changing. It is sufficient to take a look at the events of the past seven years. During the elections to the House of Representatives in 2000 a part of the opposition forces, especially the United Civil Party and Belarusian People’s Front launched a boycott while another group – Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) of Nikolaj Statkievich and the Communist Party of Belarus of Sergej Kaliakin, Civil forum and a number of politicians did not support the idea of boycott. During the parliamentary elections in 2004 the opposition once again did not have a joint strategy which led to the creation of two coalitions different in their political potential: People’s Coalition 5 Plus and European Coalition “Free Belarus”; relatively independently acted the parliamentary group Republic and another relatively small party Young Belarus.
In the end Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) that was led by Aleksandr Kozulin and is presently represented by A. Lyavkovich and nowadays stands in the avant-garde of united opposition, had in the past opposed the unification of opposition and the nomination of a single candidate in presidential elections in 2006. Does this not mean, in accordance with “Kaliakin’s method” that this party was up to one moment an agent of dictatorship and afterwards it instantly started to support the victory of democracy? Or is it perhaps true that the Congress has become a unification Congress for the dictatorship’s agents?
But there was a rupture in the coalition of united forces as well – on one side between Belarusian People’s Front and Milinkievich, on the other side between Lebedko and the communist Kaliakin which started during the first Congress on 1.-2. October 2005. At that time members of United Civil Party of Belarus loudly declared that they would not work for the benefit of Milinkievich and this led to a tension and rupture in some of the regional election committees during the elections, e.g. there were two election committees in Mohylev. That is why we cannot agree with some analysts who claim that one of the goals of the Congress was to remove Milinkievich from the post of the leader. Milinkievich was just a formal leader from the beginning and his position was respected only because the situation and approach of international community demanded it. But silently his environment was not accepting him and waited for him to make a fatal mistake so he could be accused of political incapability. Milinkievich was not strong enough to surround himself with a strong united opposition. So the Congress has become only an official confirmation of the unacceptance of his person and the result was the destruction of the “institution” of leadership and a confirmation of the rupture inside the opposition. So the question of dictatorship’s agents stays open.
When analyzing the events from the past we can say that the opposition will sooner be divided than united. The reasons for this process are not rooted only in the “tradition of rupture”, but also in certain psychological and personal relationships between those who call themselves leaders. As if e.g. A. Lyavkovich and N. Statkievich could cooperate when they are irreconcilable enemies due to a conflict in the party, which led the party into a clash and accusations from collaboration with KGB and corruption. Specifically, Lyavkovich was one of those who removed Statkievich from the leading post in the Belarusian Social Democratic Party and replaced him. Stankievich will hardly forgive Lyavkovich this deep hit.
We can say that one of the most serious risks for Belarusian opposition is not the KGB and dictatorship, but the opposition itself. It would not be so easy for the government to split the opposition if there were no internal predispositions for that. We can hardly expect any kind of constructive work when there are people within the coalition, in central offices and in regions who silently hate each other. The opposition is psychologically not politically incapable of unification and cooperation. Every one of its “leaders” knows that he can break his word, promise, agreement or change political party and subsequently return if it is profitable for him or in accordance with his needs. This behavior won’t be in any way reflected in his “political career” and after some time the same person will with clear conscience sit behind one table with those whom he virtually betrayed and he will justify it by saying that “such was the situation at that moment”. Those politicians, who were recently betrayed by them, will smile in all sincerity and will be glad that “lost sons” have returned. And this will go on forever.
It is not possible and from the political point of view also dangerous to quarrel with the same people who are not keeping their word or who have already compromised themselves. But on the other hand it is possible to have quarrels between people who have never kept their word and have long since compromised themselves.
In such conditions is the effort of unification unrealistic and delusive, until the leaders, who do not follow principles and values that they allegedly fight for, change. The words of Aleksej Koroly, who led the group for the Congress’s program documents conduct, confirm the insolvability of the situation in the opposition. According to him the goal of the Congress was to make it some kind of a “preparliament which legitimizes the responsibility of united opposition for its actions.”6
His words also confirm the assumption that the opposition leaders have never before bore responsibility because there was no institution which would hold them responsible – and the opinion of public does not count. The mechanism of political control of political leaders’ activities was created only now. Similarly to the All Belarusian People’s Assembly summoned by Lukashenko so he could account for his actions directly to people.
If we took these words seriously it would also mean that all failures and mistakes that happened until now should be forgotten. In other words, the Congress has become some kind of a mechanism for political indulgence which cleansed the opposition of all its political sins. The less it changed its foundation and did not contribute to overcoming the differences and meant a new lineage in splitting the opposition.
The reason for the new splitting was Milinkievich’s effort to keep the position of a leader and strategist of the activity proposed by Stankievich. The strategy was rejected during voting by 280 delegates and supported by 256. Unfortunately, “Kaliakin’s method” does not allow us to say with certainty who was in that case “an agent” of Belarusian regime.
Concluding from that we can say only one thing. There has never been the opposition in Belarus, there were only oppositions which led a never-ending fight against everyone. Belarusian political scene is so complicated that we cannot say “who is your political partner and who is your enemy”. The political situation changes quickly and it gains an improbable character – an ally from yesterday becomes an enemy and an enemy a close ally. So the position of permanent fight against everyone is at least a guarantee that political parties lose anything in case the stratification of power suddenly changes. It is possible that the existence of rupture is for the opposition more profitable than unification, because then there is always someone who can be blamed for failures and losses.
In the conditions of permanent rupture and internal conflict which was present the whole time, it is not suitable to talk about a unified strategy and united opposition. There could be any kind of document accepted at the Congress, but its value would be the same as if it were not accepted at all. Not one opposition strategy has ever been successful and will not be, because the strategies are realized and drawn by the same people as before. They still use the old methods and mechanisms of fight and they neither draw conclusions from their mistakes nor from a complex analysis.
The choice of the strategy of one candidate and building a united opposition has become a perpetual process which deprived the opposition of its political character given to it by the struggle for power. The building of a united opposition has become a goal by itself, the process of struggling for power has become a secondary plan. We can say today that this plan is as beyond the reach of opposition as obtaining political power. It is possible that if opposition becomes unified, it will not need the power at all. There is an anecdote in connection to this topic: “Two former representatives of Belarusian opposition meet and one tells the other: ‘Let`s get united.'”
This postulate is acknowledged by the words of A. Buchvostov, who stated during the preparations of the Congress: “I suppose that it is the peak of work on the new unification of democratic forces. We will realize the Congress, consolidate forces and naturally, we will have the opportunity to realize such challenge which is considered to be the key challenge. That means a change over to the active phase of fight against the regime.”7
In reality, the Congress has become a place for political discoveries and absurdities. Coming from Buchvostov’s words, the opposition has never actively fought against the political regime and only after its unification it will agree on attack, regardless of the fact, that in the last years it lost most of its supporters and activists. Regardless of what some politicians said out loud after each elections – that the opposition won.
Very interesting methods of “fight” were suggested. E.g. Anatolij Lebedko suggested: “Let us unite our efforts so we could defend people who have lost social security and reductions of charge. It is a number of millions of our citizens, a number of millions of voters. We will print millions of leaflets, newspapers and we will go among people. Let us defend their interests with a joint effort.”8
If this is supposed to be an active form of fight against regime, it could take few generations to accomplish it. It seems that this is exactly what the opposition did during the election campaigns in the last few years. It printed leaflets, went from door to door, defended social rights of common Belarusians. The result? And if someone says that in present political conditions it is impossible to beat Lukashenko’s regime, what is the sense of all the arguments about united strategy and unification?
All in all the Congress showed that political leaders understand the political situation in the country in different ways. As we found out they do not have a united opinion not only about the state of the country and where it should head further, but also about what the Belarusian opposition presently is. Some politicians needed the whole Congress to understand the internal political situation in the opposition: “The main goal of this Congress was the clarification of the situation in which democratic forces found themselves, to explain whether we can further work or not – and if we can, on which issues; if there is a continuation of cooperation, will and political responsibility, “stated A. Janukevich, the vice-chairman of Belarusian People’s Front. “I think that the Congress very well reflected all, risks, dangers and it in reality showed us that the contradictions are not that big,” he said.9
It is probably needed to summon a new Congress after what is going on in opposition was revealed. The Congress would answer the question what can be done about it. In the same time such words emphasized the fact that Belarusian opposition does not need analytical centers and analysts who write analyses every month and research the state o f Belarusian opposition. Unfortunately, Belarusian intellectual community and opposition seem divided. The leaders of opposition evidently do not trust materials of analytic nature to such an extend that they want see “what is going on in the Belarusian opposition” for themselves.
So while acknowledging the actual state of matters in the opposition, political activists reached different conclusions. E.g. A. Milinkievich claims that the opposition finds itself in a deep crisis: “I can honestly say that there is a serious crisis in the opposition. Serious crisis, not a definitive crises. But it is necessary to talk about it sincerely in order to cure the illness. After the year 2001 and even now after the campaign people have left us, because they were disappointed.”10 On the other hand Viachorka claims that if opposition does not unify, it will lose political initiative: “And if neither the united nor divided democratic forces concentrate on the realization of their strategy and deal with internal rearrangements, they will simply lose political initiative.”11 I would like to see at least one period in which the opposition had any political initiative. Are we possibly talking about the initiative in losing people?
An interesting and poradoxical situation was thus created in Belarusian opposition. The opposition goes through a crisis, but not through a definite one and on top of it the opposition has political initiative. In a short time it will change over to an active phase of fighting against Lukashenko’s regime by burying the enemy under millions of leaflets. If it is so, Aleksandr Grigorijevish should start packing his suitcases, because there are going to be radical changes.
It seems that the strategy of the opposition follows a latent goal. If the opposition prints millions of leaflets, the government will have to employ thousands and thousands of cleaners and caretakers in order to fight against the leaflets and their propagators. That will bring great losses to the state budget, which will subsequently lead to a deep crisis of the state. The caretakers will begin a strike, because they will not be paid their wages, and eventually a “revolution of caretakers” will take place.
The Congress could not go without a radical revaluating of the geostrategic concept of Belarus. The author of a new look at the geopolitical orientation was Anatoly Lyavkovich, the ad iterim chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada). To the question: “where should democratic Belarus head – West or East”, he replied: “After the Congress is finished, a “fourth subject” will appear.” Before there was East, West, Lukashenko and now a fourth one has appeared – united democratic forces.12 Why should we think about what we say when no one can understand it anyway?…
These words invoke fears that if the country takes the course suggested by Lyavkovich, Belarus could land where the “united” opposition is now. I do not want to harm him, but similar steps have no political sense and are suitable only for “kitchen” discussions, not for serious politics. Even though opposition does not deal with serious politics for a long time now.
The dusk of leaders
One of the most discussed questions of the Congress was the question of leadership. The opposition of Belarus faces an acute crisis of leading personalities. The result of the Congress was the elimination of even formal institute of leadership. Basically there is presently no formal or informal leader in the country. A. Lebedko personally emphasized it when he said in his speech to the delegates of the Congress: “There is no leader in this hall. There is no universally acknowledged leader in the country. United democratic forces have to unite around a common strategy.”13
A new concept of unification not around a leader, but around an abstract strategy existing in the form of an idea was actively generated during the Congress and after its end. For example in an interview with a redactor of Radio Freedom (Sloboda) the journalist Svetlana Kalinkina stated: “There is no need to unite around a leader, but around an idea, the more because nowadays there is no clear moral, political authority existing between democratic forces.” Similar words have neither political nor philosophical foundation. Very contemplations about whether Belarusian people need a leader or an idea more, seem in this situation very conjuctural. After the elimination of “leader” in opposition space a “symbolic” emptiness is evidently arising and this “emptiness” needs to be quickly filled with a new image, symbol, icon which will demonstrate itself in some kind of an idea or strategy.
We also have to emphasize that political rhetoric of Belarusian opposition is for a long time heading towards the articulation of abstract constructions without specific contents and relation to reality. It is by no means clear what kind of idea was Kalinkina talking about and what should become the integrating idea for Belarusian citizens and opposition. The fight against the undemocratic regime and establishment of democracy is not an idea, but a goal. There is no need to organize a Congress in order to understand it. The national idea was here before. We already have here socialism in a smaller and twisted variation. How should then the unification strategy of Belarusian opposition look like? Unfortunately, there is no strategy except for general statements. Further more, the idea without a leader has no value. Without a leader this idea cannot be used for the benefit of citizens, cannot become a political weapon and cannot be executed in the form of a new establishment.
The same could be said about the appeal of A. Lebedko to unify the opposition around a common strategy. Idea or ideology around which individual groups will unify and political strategy are two different things. Idea is an individual theoretical, value concept of political, economical and social life of citizens as well as forms of their existence. Social and political idea is the beginning of political ideology. Strategy is a set of mechanisms and methods serving for achieving certain goals defined by an idea or ideology. The logic of political struggle lies in the fact that in the beginning there is an idea which defines goals, then a strategy for their fulfillment is designed. It is ridiculous to unite around a shovel without knowing what to do with it, how and why.
The opposition was left without a leader, without a common idea and solutions. But a new institute of co-chairmen was created during the Congress. According to a political scientist Vitalij Silickij this institute empowered “the system of collective irresponsibility, in which it is not even possible to address someone a question.”14 We can only add that this is a unity of political outsiders. Not one of the co-chairmen can presently apply for the post of a leader and that is the end of unification processes. It is clear that political anarchy ruled in Belarusian opposition for many years now, but presently it has reached an absolute level.
Regardless of the other questions a question of whether the candidate in the next presidential elections will be the “common strategy” or all four co-chairmen together arises. The Congress not only amplified the rupture inside the opposition itself – between Milinkievich and party leaders, but it also indicated a boarder between opposition parties and democratic public, because the posts were taken by party leaders. Presently the political configuration of opposition looks like this:
1. Block of Parties: United Civil Party of Belarus, Belarusian People’s Front, Communist Party of Belarus, Belarusian Labor Party (A. Buchvostov), Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada);
2. Movement of A. Milinkievich: civic associations, members of various parties in regions, youth organizations (e.g. Malady front – Young Front). Most probably it will also gain support from intellectuals and cultural contra-elite.
Congress separated political parties from the rest of civil society and in fact led them to self-isolation. Despite that we can also find some positive moments. Milinkievich found himself in a completely new role, he received more space for maneuvering. Paradoxically in this conflict with party elites, Milinkievich could grow into an actual leader. Regardless of the fact that he is not officially a leader, symbolic and social capital that he acquired during and after the elections stays in his hands.
Despite of his mistakes, he stayed a certain political value in the eyes of the public. His dissociation from political leaders could improve his political position in the public. Milinkievich does not need to look for support in political structures, he can gain both the support from that part of public, which is not politically engaged, but expects changes, as well as the part, which is disappointed by the politics of opposition parties.
Milinkievich’s success will to a certain extend depend on which strategy he chooses for the realization of the policy of building his movement. It would be suitable to point out a few points which he has to fulfill in order to maintain his political initiative in the given phase:
1. The realization of rational cadre policy on the level of center and regions, built not on the basis of personal engagement, but on the basis of professionalism.
2. Dissociation from those political activists who have already discredited themselves from political and moral point of view in the past, because such people can impugn the seriousness of the movement and Milinkievich’s intentions.
3. Creation of a political staff consisting of young and educated people
4. Generate an understandable political and economic program.
5. Empowerment of personal leadership qualities and demonstration of will to achieve victory.
If Milinkievich successfully comes to terms with these tasks, he will be able after some time not only to empower his movement and create a new political subject, but also to become a real leader around whom political parties and their leading representatives will be forced to unite whether they like it or not.
When we talk about general results of the Congress of Democratic Forces, we have to state, that it could not solve political conflicts and it did not lead to the unification of opposition. The question of leadership, which was formally withdrawn from the program due to the initiative of political parties, stays most actual and without an answer to this question, the opposition will land in a definite deadlock.
1. Дашчынскі А. «Дэмакратычныя сілы рыхтуюцца да кангрэсу». Менск, 7 траўня 2007 http://www.svaboda.org/xml/articles/2007/05/1B835C74-8206-
2. Невяроўскі А. “Кангрэс падзяліў дэлегатаў на прыхільнікаў дзьвюх стратэгіяў”. Менск, 26 траўня 2007. http://svaboda.org/articlesfeatures/politics/2007/5/50AE885A-
3. Дашчынскі А. «У апазыцыі няма згоды адносна кангрэсу». Менск. 2 лютага 2007. http://www.svaboda.org/xml/articles/2007/02/4D2C4D68-
4. Невяроўскі А. “Кангрэс падзяліў дэлегатаў на прыхільнікаў дзьвюх стратэгіяў”. Менск, 26 траўня 2007. http://svaboda.org/articlesfeatures/politics/2007/5/50AE885A-
5. Цыганкоў, Віталь: Канфлікт прынцыпаў і пакаленьняў? 26 траўня 2007. http://www.svaboda.org/articlesfeatures/politics/2007/5/11A75E93-
6. Дашчынскі А. «Дэмакратычныя сілы рыхтуюцца да кангрэсу». Менск, 7 траўня 2007 http://www.svaboda.org/xml/articles/2007/05/1B835C74-8206-
7. Дашчынскі А. “Пачалася падрыхтоўка да II Кангрэсу дэмакратычных сілаў”. Менск, 16 лістапада 2006. http://www.svaboda.org/xml/articles/2006/11/751B1B46-3316-
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