Thursday, August 30, 2007

This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Belarus
The elections for the position of president of Belarus took place on March 19, 2006. The winner of the elections holds the office until the next round of scheduled elections, which are determined by the country's House of Representatives.
Western observers have deemed the elections rigged. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) declared that the election "failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections." However, election observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) described the vote as open and transparent.


  • Alexander Lukashenko

    • Prime Minister: Sergey Sidorsky
      National Assembly

      • Council of the Republic
        House of Representatives
        People's Assembly
        Constitutional Court
        Supreme Court
        Economic Court
        Foreign relations
        Administrative division
        Political parties Candidates

        Zianon Pazniak: withdrew on January 26
        Valery Frolov: withdrew on February 1 in favor of Kazulin
        Aleksandr Voitovich: withdrew on January 9
        Sergei Skrebets: withdrew in late January, supports Kazulin Belarusian presidential election, 2006 Preceding events
        On March 19, 2006 exit polls showed Lukashenko winning a third term in a landslide, amid opposition claims of vote-rigging and fear of violence. The EcooM organization gave Lukashenko 84.2% of the vote and Milinkevich just 2 percent, while the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations gave Lukashenko 84.2% and Milinkevich 3.1 percent. The Gallup Organization has noted that EcooM and the Belarusian Committee of Youth Organizations are government-controlled and both released their exit poll results before noon on election day, although voting stations closed at 8 p.m. [1]
        Lukashenko was sworn in for his third term on April 8, 2006.


        Belarus authorities initially vowed to crush unrest in the event of large-scale protests following the election. One of the protesters was killed in the fight. Four explosions were heard, apparently percussion grenades set off by police. Many protesters were detained, including one of the opposition leaders, Alexander Kozulin, Russian news agencies reported. The main opposition leader, Alexander Milinkevich, denied reports by Russian news agencies that he himself was detained.
        On March 29, reported that opposition leader Kozulin is arrested and can get up to 6 years in jail for organizing riots and hooliganism. Milinkevich can get 15 days for hooliganism.[2]
        According to Moscow News[3], two journalists of Belarus state television channel allegedly beaten by opposition forces during an unsanctioned rally in Minsk are currently in hospital with severe injuries, RIA Novosti said Monday. Reporter of First Belarusian State Channel Mikhail Kristin has suffered a concussion, and cameraman Dmitry Chumak has a spine injury. Both are in hospital, the Belarusian State Television company said. The journalists were injured during the Saturday unrest in the Belarus capital. Members of opposition called it a lie.

        Belarusian authorities
        After the results were announced, a mass rally assembled in October Square in Minsk, waving the banned white-red-white flag of independent Belarus, the flag of the European Union, as well as flags of other countries such as neighboring Russia, Poland and Ukraine, and even Armenia.
        The crowd of demonstrators rallying after the election was the biggest the opposition had mustered in years, reaching at least 10,000 to 20,000.. Most of the arrested people were sentenced 5 to 15 days in prison. There were Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Canadian, and Georgian citizens among the arrested.
        On Saturday several thousand demonstrators took to the streets, as the police had closed off October Square. Opposition leader Alaksandar Kazulin was arrested. One of the demonstators was killed when the riot police dispersed the crowd.

        Belarusian opposition
        The official OSCE report released on March 20, 2006, concluded that the presidential election failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections. The OSCE, of which Belarus is a member, stated that Lukashenko permitted State authority to be used in a manner which did not allow citizens to freely and fairly express their will at the ballot box, and a pattern of intimidation and the suppression of independent voices was evident EU diplomats are drawing up a list of Belarusian officials who will be targeted by "smart sanctions" and final decisions will be taken on 10 April.

        According to a Belarusian news portal, Lukashenko himself stated that the "last Presidential elections were rigged; I already told this to the Westerners. [...] 93.5% voted for the President Lukashenko [sic]. They said it's not a European number. We made it 86. This really happened. And if [one is to] start recounting the votes, I don't know what to do with them. Before the elections they told us that if we showed the European numbers, our elections would be accepted. We were planning to make the European numbers. But, as you can see, this didn't help either."[5]

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