The presidential election in Belarus was held in the autumn 2015. According to the Constitution, the head of state is elected for a term of five years, and the election is held on Sunday no later than two months prior to the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent President that begins after the inauguration.
The presidential election took place on 11 October 2015. The date was approved at a session of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 30 June.
At first, they proposed 15 November 2015 as a likely date for the election. That date was the deadline as the inauguration of the incumbent President took place on 21 January 2011.
However, the Central Election Commission suggested calling the election earlier than the latest date possible. If there had been a need for a runoff vote, the election campaign would have been held within the framework designated by the Constitution.
Early voting for the presidential election started on 6 October and lasted till 10 October.
At the session on 1 July 2015, the Central Election Commission of Belarus approved the schedule of events for the presidential election campaign. Traditionally these are:
Compared with the 2010 campaign, the 2015 presidential election had a number of innovations. Some amendments were introduced to the Election Code. They were already in force during the 2012 parliamentary election and the 2014 elections to local Councils of Deputies.
The amendments include the legalization of private financing for candidates’ election campaigns (including personal finances, contributions by citizens and legal entities of the Republic of Belarus):
All news about the election campaign, official figures, public opinion surveys, expert opinion are available at Belarus President Election 2015.
According to the Constitution, to run for presidency, one must be a natural-born citizen of the Republic of Belarus, at least 35 years of age, an eligible voter residing in Belarus for at least 10 years.
To learn more about the nomination of candidates for the post of the President of Belarus, please click here.
According to the schedule, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus finished the registration of initiative groups nominating candidates for the post of the President on 20 July.
Having considered all the submitted documents, the CEC registered eight initiative groups for collecting voter signatures. Those were the groups of Alexander Lukashenko, Sergei Kalyakin, Sergei Gaidukevich, Tatiana Korotkevich, Anatoly Lebedko, Viktor Tereshchenko, Zhanna Romanovskaya, and Nikolai Ulakhovich.
On 10 September 2015, following the most important stages in the election race – the collection of voter signatures, their verification, and the submission of necessary documents by the potential candidates – the CEC named the candidates for the post of the President of Belarus:
Photos of the campaigning stage that lasted from 11 September through 10 October are available here.
The presidential campaign was monitored by Belarusian citizens and accredited observers from other countries.
Belarus sent invitations to observe the presidential election to representatives of international organizations, such as:
It was the first electoral campaign in Belarus monitored by representatives of the Association of World Election Bodies.
Invitations were also sent to heads of the central election commissions of other states, foreign politicians and public figures.
You can find more about the monitoring of the presidential election in Belarus and opinions of observers here:
As many as 6,129 polling stations were set up in Belarus and abroad for the 2015 Belarus president election.
Forty-nine polling stations were set up abroad for Belarusian citizens living outside the country.
Three organizations were accredited for conducting exit polls on 11 October, the Election Day:
Exit poll results were released by the heads of these organizations soon after the closing of the polls. The exit polls predicted Alexander Lukashenko’s victory with more than 80% of the vote. Precise figures are available here.
Preliminary results of the presidential election were released by the Central Election Commission of Belarus well into the night after the closing of the polls. According to the results, incumbent Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko scored a landslide victory with more than 83% of the vote.
Alexander Lukashenko received congratulations from foreign leaders: Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Petro Poroshenko, Nicolas Maduro, Ilham Aliyev, Truong Tan Sang, and many others…
On 16 October, the Central Election Commission released the final results of the Belarus president election with corrected figures of voter turnout and vote count. Alexander Lukashenko won 83.5% of the vote, Tatiana Korotkevich – 4.4%, Sergei Gaidukevich – 3.3%, Nikolai Ulakhovich – 1.7%.