Belarussian opposition's hopes for election boycott futile - poll

MINSK, November 12 (Itar-Tass) -- The hope of some representatives of the Belarusian opposition for a boycott of the forthcoming December 19 presidential election is very slim, as follows from the conclusions made by experts at the authoritative sociological center - the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS).

As the IISEPS told Itar-Tass on Thursday, a national survey conducted in Belarus in October found out that 73.2 percent of the respondents will certainly or most probably go and vote in the election, and only 13.9 percent will most probably or certainly ignore the voting. "It is clear that hopes for a boycott of these elections are without any real grounds," the IISEPS said.

Equally unrealistic are the opposition's expectations of mass protests in the event of rigging. According to the same survey only 10.9 percent of the polled declared their intention to take part in mass protests in an attempt to change the results, and another 24.1 percent of respondents answered: "I will not believe the results and will be very upset, but I will not participate in mass protests". And 40.5 percent of the respondents expressed this attitude: "I will accept the results, because there will be no chance of changing them."

Sociologists have also pointed out that, judging by the results of the October public opinion poll, the current rating of President Alexander Lukashenko has increased again and returned to the level of last June - 44 percent. At the same time, IISEPS experts pointed to the impressive growth in ratings of some opposition candidates for the presidency. Just six weeks after the September poll the ranking of the leader of the civil campaign Tell the truth!, Neklyaev, has increased from 5.1 percent to 16.8 percent, of the leader of the civil campaign European Belarus, Sannikov - from 3 to 8.6, of the deputy chairman of the United Civil Party, Romanchuk - from 2.6 percent to 6.1 percent, of the leader of the union For Modernization, Mikhalevich - from 2.3 percent to 6.4 percent. In general, the position of the incumbent is weaker than it had been before the third election, but there are no signs of a corresponding strengthening of the positions of his opponents: the cumulative rating of all opposition candidates for the head of state is still only 26.5 percent, the experts said.

The IISEPS is modern Belarus's oldest independent research center, which has conducted sociological research since the beginning of 1992. In 2005, the institute after its liquidation by the Supreme Court was forced to obtain registration in neighboring Lithuania.

In the October survey conducted by the IISEPS an audience of 1,505 was interviewed. The error margin did not exceed 3 percent.


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