Combining the Council of the Republic and the House of Representatives, Belarus has 135 independent members out of 174 total. Why is the support for political parties so low in Belarus? What history events led to this situation?
Because the dictator apparently has no need in political parties to accomplish his political goals.
Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus (1994-2020) is very clear with the following reasons he envisions:
- Being himself a loyal member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Lukashenko sees no point in boosting the foundation of other political parties at all, "neither the left nor the right";
- He claims there's no public demand for political parties…
- and that very few living Belarusians have ever participated in a multi-partisan political life;
- The very existence of various political parties is the attribute of the "rotting West" which is "spoiled with populism". The above sentiment is used by propaganda to discredit the Western idea, so it would also discredit the regime if implemented;
- The existence of political parties induce "speculations" which, in turn, present a grave danger of losing the statehood.
- Instead of making political parties, Lukashenko calls for unity around "some person or a group of people" (but unfortunately he left it shrouded in mystery about what person did he mean).
Referring a single source, a meeting to discuss operation of political parties in Belarus (April 9, 2021), as reported by the article on the
“Like the majority of people attending this meeting, I belong to the generation brought up by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which used to be the pillar of our society. Therefore, many people viewed the collapse of the USSR and the ban of the Communist Party in many former Soviet republics as a betrayal,” the President said. […]
I have invented a formula for myself and I have been committed to it so far: we are not with the left, not with the right, we are with people. My position concerning the political party construction remained unchanged: we should not either boost social and political processes artificially or restrain them.
“But there was no demand for it in the society. And there is no big demand right now. As various social polls show, the level of trust to existing parties is within the statistical spread¹. I am saying this responsibly, and the recent large-scale social polls showed it. The political question is bothering the minds of only a small part of the politicized community in big cities.
“One must realize that the Belarusian society has little experience of existence in the multiparty system,” he said.
“Look at the stronghold of western democracy – the party system. We see how party ideologies are replaced by cheap populism and dirty political technologies. Political parties often use shady methods, violating all norms and principles, in political fight to reach their vested interests. Certain groups.
In his words, it is essential to step up efforts to prevent such speculations on the party basis from artificially dividing the Belarusian society and leading to the loss of statehood.
Therefore, this (the forming of a multiparty political system) is a very serious issue. Let me tell you my opinion: we are not ready for this. And I already hinted some day: in hard times, […] in such a situation, smart people unite around some person, some group of people. They gather together and try to withstand, to survive.
¹) "statistical error" in the original speech in Russian
"Поэтому это серьезнейший вопрос. Скажу свое мнение: мы к этому не готовы. И я уже как-то намекал: когда трудно в стране […], в такой ситуации умные люди объединяются вокруг какого-то человека, какой-то группы людей. Собираются в кучу и стараются выстоять, выжить."