MINSK, 19 February (BelTA) – The Belarusian authorities do not reject the pluralism of opinion, Ph.D. in History Vadim Gigin, Dean of the Philosophy and Social Sciences Faculty of Belarusian State University, said during a meet-up of experts in BelTA's press center to discuss the results of the Belarusian People's Congress.
“The Belarusian People's Congress is not a parliament, not a party, not a mass movement. It is a public advisory body. In other words, people across all walks of life and experts put forward certain decisions and the government can either agree or disagree with them. The main document of the Belarusian People's Congress is a resolution. Even the program of social and economic development is also a recommendation, which is then formalized through the country's legal and regulatory norms,” Vadim Gigin said.
According to him, the Belarusian People's Congress has become a milestone event, it has demonstrated the strength and self-confidence of the government, a broad public support for it. “It is very important in the international arena, because other states will be able to see who they are dealing with in Belarus, who really controls the situation, enjoys public support. Indeed, people support the current government. Opponents of the authorities must admit this too. There is an important political message: after all, the authorities do not reject the pluralism of opinion. Aleksandr Lukashenko has a rather tough, straightforward style of communicating information. He is a charismatic leader who is used to communicating his ideas this way, but no one will deny the sincerity of this communication and the willingness to listen to different points of view. In this regard, it seems to me that if opposition figures were free to choose whether to attend the meeting or not, they would definitely be there. However, they were put under serious pressure and thus made a mistake. Had they participated in the Belarusian People's Congress, this would have generated more benefits to them than to the congress. They would have also become newsmakers, just like delegates to the Belarusian People's Congress,” the expert said.
Vadim Gigin is sure that the time has come for all citizens of Belarus to start using dialogue platforms, all communication channels, to convey their points of view. “The message of the congress is that one needs to respect the points of view of other people. The president began with the program of his opponents - he criticized it, but he did not ignore it. You cannot disregard the opinion of the other side. Various political forces should embark on discussion, even if they think it might frustrate some of their ambitions. In fact, this way the authorities reach out to their opponents. Now we need to establish and maintain these forms of dialogue. Of course, this path will be thorny: there are grievances, mutual complaints, emerging stereotypes, a certain mythologization, which is always present in any political process. We will need to overcome this. We have a big political campaign ahead of us. It has to do with the constitutional reform and political transformation. Local elections will put the Belarusian political system to the test and will be part of this political transformation. It doesn't matter if they take place at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next - they will dominate the political agenda. And this was also mentioned at the meeting,” the expert said.