Aliaksandr Lukashenka pushed through an overhaul of Belarus’s constitution as a response to the protests against the official results of the 2020 presidential election. The goal was to address the desire for change among the population without reacting to the demand for snap elections. With the February 2022 constitutional plebiscite on the most far-ranging changes to Belarus’s constitution since 1994, Lukashenka further entrenched himself in power. The results of our online survey suggest that the constitutional changes do not meet the broad societal demand for political change and, in particular, for constraints on presidential power. Despite the persistence of the political conflict, we also show that Lukashenka’s supporters and opponents are not irreconcilably polarized in every policy domain. Finally, our results suggest that regime supporters have stronger anti-democratic preferences than opposition supporters when it comes to future political participation of the two camps, making the effects of affective polarization highly asymmetrical.
Lukashenka’s Constitutional Plebiscite and the Polarization of Belarusian Society
Fabian Burkhardt, Jan Matti Dollbaum; Lukashenka’s Constitutional Plebiscite and the Polarization of Belarusian Society. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2023; 56 (3): 98–126. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cpcs.2023.1990500
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