On 11−12 February, the All Belarusian People's Assembly (ABPA) met in Minsk. By staging the event, the authorities' responded to the political crisis in the country — regular mass protests in the aftermath of the August 2020 Presidential election.
The ABPA is seen as an instrument for resolving the political differences that emerged from the crisis. Some of those differences are relevant to corporate Government Relations departments responsible for the business region of Belarus.
No draft of a new constitution was presented at the ABPA meeting, contrary to President Lukashenko's announcements in the autumn of 2020. The new Constitution should now be drafted by the end of this year, with a referendum on it to be held simultaneously with local elections (in December 2021 or January 2022). Therefore, the political and legitimacy crises are becoming protracted and will not be resolved soon.
From the point of view of businesses, this situation is fraught with several consequences:
- increasing risks for foreign businesses from the escalation of the political situation. The factor of political loyalty of businesses will gain in importance;
- law enforcement agencies wielding more influence on both the activities of civilian agencies and interaction with businesses (control over economic activities, foreign investment, etc.);
- public sector development being prioritised, with privatisation plans suspended.
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.For further discussion on the subject of this paper, please contact: Yury Panasik, Partner at email@example.com