Belarus



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Belarus Government 2008


Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Belarus conventional short form: Belarus local long form: Respublika Byelarus' local short form: Byelarus' former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type: republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Capital: name: Minsk geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel', Horad Minsk*, Hrodna, Mahilyow, Minsk, Vitsyebsk note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers
Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution: 15 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996; revised again 17 October 2004 removing presidential term limits
Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994) head of government: Prime Minister Sergey SIDORSKIY (since 19 December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since December 2003) cabinet: Council of Ministers elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999, however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run in a third election, which was held on 19 March 2006; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 82.6%, Aleksandr MILINKEVICH 6%, Aleksandr KOZULIN 2.3%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional councils and eight members appointed by the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held 28 September 2008 (next to be held fall of 2012); international observers widely denounced the elections as flawed and undemocratic based on massive government falsification; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won all 110 seats election results: Soviet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)
Political parties and leaders: pro-government parties: Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY]; Belarusian Communist Party or KPB; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]; Party of Labor and Justice [Viktor SOKOLOV]; Social-Sports Party [Vladimir ALEXANDROVICH] opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party (unregistered) [Pavel SEVERINETS]; Belarusian Party of Communists or PKB [Sergey KALYAKIN]; Belarusian Party of Labor (unregistered) [Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV, Leonid LEMESHONAK]; Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Vintsyuk VYACHORKA]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Gramada [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH]; Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada (People's Assembly) or BSDPH [Aleksandr KOZULIN; Anatoliy LEVKOVICH, acting]; Green Party [Oleg GROMYKO]; Party of Freedom and Progress (unregistered) [Vladimir NOVOSYAD]; United Civic Party or UCP [Anatoliy LEBEDKO]; Women's Party "Nadezhda" [Valentina MATUSEVICH, chairperson] other opposition includes: Christian Conservative BPF [Zyanon PAZNIAK]; Ecological Party of Greens [Mikhail KARTASH]; Party of Popular Accord [Sergey YERMAKK]; Republican Party [Vladimir BELAZOR]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs [Sergey MATSKEVICH]; Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions [Aleksandr YAROSHUK]; Belarusian Helsinki Committee [Tatiana PROTKO]; Belarusian Organization of Working Women [Irina ZHIKHAR]; Charter 97 [Andrey SANNIKOV]; For Freedom (unregistered) [Aleksandr MILINKEVICH]; Lenin Communist Union of Youth (youth wing of the Belarusian Party of Communists or PKB); National Strike Committee of Entrepreneurs [Aleksandr VASILYEV, Valery LEVONEVSKY]; Partnership NGO [Nikolay ASTREYKA]; Perspektiva kiosk watchdog NGO [Anatol SHUMCHENKO]; Vyasna [Ales BYALATSKY]; Women's Independent Democratic Movement [Ludmila PETINA]; Youth Front (Malady Front) [Dmitriy DASHKEVICH, Sergey BAKHUN]; Zubr youth group [Vladimir KOBETS]
International organization participation: BSEC (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mikhail KHVOSTOV chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604 FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805 consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jonathan MOORE embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002 mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723 telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83, 217-7347, 217-7348 FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
Flag description: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red

NOTE: The government information regarding Belarus on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Belarus Government 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Belarus Government 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.