Power in Belarus to be Taken Over by Defense Officials, Says Political Scientist

Power in Belarus to be Taken Over by Defense Officials, Says Political Scientist

Photo: https://belaruspartisan.by/

According to political analyst Alexey Martynov, if the new authorities of Belarus raise the possibility of withdrawing of the country from the Collective Security Treaty Organization and rejecting the military security guarantees from Moscow under pressure from Western partner countries, this might lead to a military coup in Belarus.

The situation in Belarus can hardly be called rapidly aggravating not least because the local authorities did their best to make it worse on the very first day of protest actions. As soon as the Belarusian Central Election Commission announced the first preliminary results of the presidential election, according to which Alexander Lukashenko, the incumbent President, received more than 80% of the votes, opposition supporters took to the streets. This rally immediately grew over into clashes with the forces of law and order and attempts to kick the protesters out of the streets of the Belarusian cities in the toughest way possible making them go back home. In other words, the situation in Belarus worsened almost in the first hours of protest actions reaching the critical point as early as August 9, the Election Day.

Anyway, numerous political experts are still trying to give different assessments predicting the expected outcome of what is happening in Belarus, both for the whole country and personally for President Alexander Lukashenko. Moreover, they have plenty of reasons to discuss the possible shift of power in Belarus. After all, even the Belarusian President changes his public rhetoric several times a day. One day he announces that he is ready to hold elections and even to transfer powers but, however, only after the constitutional reform. And the next day he responds to a proposal to hold re-election by saying that “it is not going to happen.” Roughly the same duality is common to Lukashenko in everything that concerns counteraction to the protest. And of course, this either soft or tough President, who can't decide on his official and final position on the situation, leaves himself open to attack and risks losing power soon not of his own free will.

“Power in Belarus to be Taken Over by Military”

In addition, there is a theory that a possible shift of power in Belarus would not follow the Georgian or Ukrainian scenario where the opposition gained control of the country after a change of president. Some experts believe that a slightly different scenario might be expected there. For example, chances are the military will come to power. Alexey Martynov, a Russian political scientist and the head of the Institute of Newest States, voiced an opinion of this kind earlier. He even spoke about what consequences Belarus after state power there changes hands.

According to Martynov, the Union State of Russia and Belarus has long been an unfulfilled project. Martynov believes that the Belarusian President is the one to blame for this personally because he deliberately postponed the implementation and development of this project. Moreover, in order to translate the idea of the Union State into life, it is necessary that power in Belarus should be handed to a more pro-Russian politician. However, Martynov believes that there are no people of this kind among the representatives of the local opposition. In Martynov’s opinion, Lukashenko is not exactly pro-Russian. That means that an attempt to leave the Collective Security Treaty Organization might be made and it would bring about negative consequences. In other words, in the near future, the post of the Belarusian President is highly unlikely to be taken by a person who would be ready to establish closer cooperation with Moscow. According to Martynov, this fact might lead to a military coup in Belarus and the transfer of power to defense officials.

“If the new authorities of Belarus raise the possibility of withdrawing from the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization and rejecting the military security guarantees from Moscow under pressure from Western partner countries, this might lead to a military coup in Belarus,” says Martynov.

According to him, “power in Belarus might be taken over by the defense officials,” who will rule the country until they manage to hold fair elections. Only after that, the military will be able to calmly transfer power to civilian politicians. However, Martynov believes that chances are this transition process will take a long time, as it is difficult to predict when truly responsible and conscientious civilian politicians appear in Belarus.

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