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Elections in Belarus

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, its citizens have the right to vote and stand for governmental bodies on the basis of universal, equal, direct or indirect suffrage by secret ballot.

All elections in Belarus are direct, except for the elections to the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly whose members are elected indirectly.

Every Belarusian citizen over 18 is eligible to vote. Citizens who are declared legally incapable by court or serve a prison sentence have no right to vote.

Several types of elections are held in the Republic of Belarus: elections of the President of the Republic of Belarus, deputies of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic, deputies of local Councils of Deputies.

The elections in Belarus are held by election commissions.

Observers - deputies, authorized representatives of candidates, members of political parties and public associations, representatives of international organizations and mass media - have the right to be present at all stages of electoral campaign.

Rights of Observers:

  • to be present at the meetings of election commissions;
  • to be present during sealing of ballot boxes;
  • to be present at polling stations on election day;
  • to attend early voting and voting at the residence of voters;
  • to observe distribution of ballots, electoral process and its adherence to the legally established order;
  • to present proposals and comments to the chairman of an election commission;
  • to obtain information on the vote count and the protocols of the relevant commissions on the results of elections;
  • to observe vote recount (in case it is held). 

History of Elections in Belarus

The elections were held on the territory of Belarus as early as in the Middle Ages. The noblemen elected deputies to the highest representative body - the Seym, and petty bourgeoisie – to the city councils.

However, after the Belarusian territories were incorporated into the Russian Empire these traditions fell into oblivion for some time.

First presidential elections in the independent Belarus took place in 1994 and resulted in a landslide victory of the opposition candidate Alexander Lukashenko, who beat the then Premier Vyacheslav Kebich, the ex-speaker of the Parliament Stanislav Shushkevich and the leaders of major Belarusian political parties - communists (BCP) and nationalists (BPF).    

Since then presidential elections were held in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2015, parliamentary elections in 1995, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and local elections in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2014. 

Alexander Lukashenko won the presidential election that took place on 11 October 2015 with 83.5% of the vote.

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