Andrew Wilson, Senior Policy Fellow for the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of the book Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship, shares his thoughts with New Eastern Europe on the announcement of parliamentary elections in Belarus set for September 23rd.
By: Andrew Wilson
So Belarus will hold parliamentary elections on 23 September, before Georgia and Ukraine in October. So what? Why should the world pay any attention to fixed elections to a “parliament” that was established by a constitutional coup d’état in 1996? The Belarusian “House of Representatives” is the fake that replaced the real parliament that was elected under the 1994 constitution in 1995. It wasn’t even elected the first time.
Half of the 1995 parliament’s original members were “persuaded” to sit in the new House, the rest were presidential appointees. Subsequent elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008 have never returned a single opposition deputy. In 2000 Lukashenko cared enough about appearances to ensure some tame of fake parties entered the parliament – the loyal “Communists”, “Agrarians” and “Liberal-Democrats”, but since then most have been independents – no less than 103 out of 110 deputies at the last elections in 2008.
To read the full commentary please visit: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/362