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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...

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...

16 September 2015
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New Agreement with EU, Reviving Embassies with the US – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Encouraged by "non-negative dynamics" in Belarus, the European Union is drafting a new kind of framework agreement with Minsk. It will take into account the realities of their relationship. In the meantime, Minsk and Washington are discussing the practicalities...

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...

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...

7 July 2015
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Failure of Minsk-2 and the Belarusian Presidential Election

Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s role as a mediator in the conflict in Ukraine has received high praise from European officials and partially ended the isolation of the republic. Recently the government has taken part in several high-level events, most...

12 December 2014
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Getting Rid of the Pariah Status, Complaining about Russia, Protecting Conservative Values – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The days when Belarus was a pariah at most European diplomatic gatherings appears to be a thing of the past. During his recent trips to Vienna and Basel, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei met with a dozen of his counterparts from...

5 August 2014
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Lukashenka the Peacemaker

Late in the evening on 29 July Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko phoned his Belarusian counterpart and proposed him to host a meeting of a tripartite contact group on Ukraine. The negotiations' format included OSCE, Russia and Ukraine. Alexander Lukashenka...

14 August 2013
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Electoral Reform in Belarus: Liberalisation or Window-Dressing?

On 6 August 2013 Alexander Lukashenka held a meeting with top officials on the proposed changes to the Election Code. Some of the announced changes could potentially serve to further tighten the government's control over elections.Meanwhile, the officials’ rhetoric...

4 October 2012
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Who is in the New Belarusian Parliament?

The 2012 parliamentary election in Belarus is over. The Central Elections Committee announced those who will be in the new parliament. A typical MP is a non-partisan male aged between 50 and 60. He made his career in state sector...