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2015 presidential election
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Will Lukashenka Survive his Worst Term in Office?
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On 11 October 2015 it was officially revealed that Alexander Lukashenka had won his fifth presidential election. Five months post-election it appears obvious that it is set to be his most difficult term in office yet. Despite a very vague...
14 October 2015
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Editorial: Three Election Controversies

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...

10 October 2015
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Belarusians Go to the Polls Early – Belarus Photo Digest

More than a third of Belarusians will have cast their ballots before the official Election Day on 11 October. The authorities are encouraging early voting because the results can be more easily manipulated. Early voters include students, urged to cast...

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....

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...

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 July 2015
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Intensive Dialogue with Europe, South Asian and African Overtures – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has been making a desperate attempt to introduce its goods to new markets, hoping to compensate for declining exports to many of their traditional destinations, especially Russia. Over the past few weeks, Belarusian diplomats have concentrated their trade promotion...

13 May 2015
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Political Opposition in Belarus: Movements Instead of Parties

At the Chernobyl Way rally last month, activists from the opposition group Malady Front carried a controversial poster titled “Game Over.” The poster, listing most opposition parties and movements, highlighted the dire state of the democratic opposition in Belarus. Activist...

29 April 2015
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Pro-Government Parties in Belarus: Are They Real?

In Western democracies, parties exist to get politicians elected and help them implement policies. In Belarus, Lukashenka’s opponents cannot succeed at either of these activities. Even the political parties that do support the regime are only marginally more successful. There...