The Hot August in Belarus: Post-Election Dynamics and Policy Options

18 Aug 2020

( This policy paper addresses the most acute political issues that now follow the August 9, 2020 presidential election in Belarus, a member of EU’s Eastern Partnership and one of Russia’s partners in Eurasian integration.

Vote falsification as a crux of Lukashenka’s regime

It is important to remember that during the 26 years of Lukashenka’s rule no election was recognized by the West as free and fair. The rigging of elections took place systematically. However, the question remains as to the extent to which the vote counting had to be rigged this time. It is difficult to say with precision as both independent public opinion polls and independent exit polls have been practically banned by the authorities. There are some indications, however, that Lukashenka’s electoral base had been crumbling. A study done by the Institute of Sociology of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences in April reported a 24% rating of approval in Minsk, which is well below the 3 election results that the authorities have reported (around 80%). [...]

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Co-author: Aliaksei Kazharski