Andrew Wilson, Professor of Ukrainian Studies at UCL SSEES, analyses the recent elections in Belarus.
There were no real surprises in the presidential election held in Belarus on Sunday 11 October, with Alyaksandr Lukashenka claiming his fifth term since first assuming the presidency in 1994. Lukashenka’s official vote was a record 84 percent (compared to his modest 79.6 percent at the last election in 2010). Though according to the only real Belarusian poll agency IISEPS, only 46 percent of planned voters indicated that they would definitely vote for Lukashenka in September. As always, the elections were fixed in advance in three ways: mass early voting by ‘controlled populations’ like students, who are under strong pressure to vote a certain way (36 percent voted early); by a non-transparent counting process; and by controlling who can actually stand (see below).