Belarus (Sep 23, 2012)

Sept. 27, 2012, midnight

Belarus’s major opposition parties boycotted the September 23 parliamentary elections. The two main opposition groups, the United Civic Party and Belarusian National Front, removed their candidates to protest the control of the incumbent Alexander LUKASHENKO government on political activity in the country, like the violent clampdown on opposition protests in 2010. The LUKASHENKO government has been in power since 1994 and served three terms as president of the country.

In the National Assembly, 110 seats were at stake, but parties supporting LUKASHENKO already occupied the majority of seats before September 23. The election resulted in no opposition members wining any seats in parliament. A total of 109/110 seats were filled: LUKASHENKO’s Belaya Rus movement won 105 seats, and four were won by LUKASHENKO supporters. International observers like the OSCE expressed serious concerns over impartiality and how votes were counted.

In spite of the absence of two major parties in the election, the Electoral Commission reported voter turnout in all 110 districts as exceeding the required threshold of half of all registered voters, at 74 percent.  Opposition groups like the Christian Democrats openly dispute this number. 

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