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Editorial: Three Election Controversies
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The 2015 presidential election in Belarus revealed three important controversies for the authorities, the opposition and the West. First, the Belarusian authorities want to look more democratic to the West without allowing any real changes inside the country. Second, the opposition...
11 October 2015
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Belarus Presidential Elections 2015 – Live Updates from Minsk

On 9 - 12 October, Belarus Digest provided live online coverage of the presidential elections in Belarus and international and domestic reactions to it. Below, we feature a collection of stories from international and Belarusian media, videos, pictures, and comments...

9 October 2015
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Early Voting: the Secret to a Successful Authoritarian Election?

The official date for Belarus’s presidential election is 11 October. But if past elections are any guide, every third Belarusian will vote during the so-called “early voting” period, between 6 and 10 October. In fact, 30 percent of Belarusians cast...

9 October 2015
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Opinion: Polls and the Belarusian Reality

​On 11 October, Belarusians go to the polls in the fourth election in Belarus since Aliaksandr Lukashenka was voted president in 1994. The current campaign shares many of the features of its predecessors. As earlier, Western observers have focused...

7 October 2015
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Belarus Presidential Elections: Will They Actually Count the Votes?

On 11 October, Belarus will hold presidential elections. The Belarusian authorities try to create an image of democratic elections at a time when Alexander Lukashenka looks weak due to the economic recession. Realistically no one expects a fair vote count....

5 October 2015
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Lukashenka Defends Futile Causes, Showcases Young Son at the UN

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka went to New York on 26–29 September to attend the world leaders' meetings at the United Nations. The country’s servile state-run media stubbornly called his trip a “working visit to the United States”. Meanwhile, the sojourn...

17 September 2015
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A Cautious Reset of Belarus-EU Relations in the Making?

On 9 September the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini stated that the EU should "not to miss a new window of opportunity" in relations with Belarus after Alexander Lukashenka's decision to pardon six remaining political prisoners. Although...

9 September 2015
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Opinion: Russia’s Troublesome Ally

Belarus’ strained relationship with Russia illustrates the contradictory relationship between its leadership and that in Moscow during the presidential election campaign. The problematic areas include the war in Ukraine and the closely related issue of collaboration in the military-industrial complex. In...

4 September 2015
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Belarusian Combatants in Ukraine: Heroes or Criminals?

On 29 August, Ales Charkashyn, a member of tactical volunteer group Belarus Fighting in Donbas, died from combat wounds. This is the first known death of a Belarusian citizen fighting on the Ukrainian side. No Ukrainian diplomats attended Charkashyn’s funeral...

2 September 2015
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Presidential Elections in Belarus: Why the West Should Not Hold Its Breath

On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year. Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory...

24 August 2015
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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...

17 August 2015
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Lukashenka’s 2015 Election Strategy

On 4 August, Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with journalists of non-government media to discuss a wide range of topics. In particular he focused on the preelection campaign and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that Russia will not go...

13 August 2015
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Belarus and the OSCE: Peacekeeping and Elections Critisism

By the end of August, 40 long-term observers of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Belarus to keep an eye on the Presidential elections. Since 1991 Belarus has been a member of this organisation...

11 August 2015
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What Stands behind Another “Liberalisation” in Belarus?

Just as before the 2010 presidential elections the Belarusian authorities show certain signs of liberalisation. They do not use aggressive hostile propaganda on TV and have allowed the opposition to campaign without interference. In addition, Alexander Lukashenka held a press-conference...

10 August 2015
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Belarus and the Ukraine Conflict: More Losses Than Gains?

Although the Belarusian authorities have managed to promote their country in a favourable light by hosting the high-level talks on Ukraine, they seriously worry about the direct spill-over of the Ukrainian conflict.​ Belarus has already suffered economic losses from the...