This File Last Updated: 2002/07/26

Political Parties in Belarus

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Editor's Notes

  • This is a very small beginning of listing the political parties of Belarus, including statements of their points of view.
  • As one aspect of its totalitarian control of every organization and everyone in Belarus, the authoritarian regime ruling Belarus since 1995 periodically requires all non-governmental organizations to "register" and "re-register" (this includes political parties, trade unions, and relief organizations). With each re-registration, more restrictions are imposed on these organizations, and fewer organizations exist. Use of the tax authority to harass these same organizations, including confiscating their bank accounts, is also very common.
  • Needless to say, statements made by the current government of Belarus--especially about political, media, and individual freedom--do not have much credibility in the world community. Also note that the official Republic of Belarus UN Mission's Web site has not been updated since August 3, 1996--which is prior to the November, 1996, referendum, a referendum whose results are not recognized by most world governmental organizations. Some commentaries refer to the "referendum" of November, 1996, as a fake referendum and/or a bloodless coup d'etat.

  • Also see the Belarusian Governments in Exile section for related information.

    The following essay summarizes political rights and civil liberties in Belarus (1998):   Freedom in the World 1998-99: Belarus.   (Released by Freedom House, Washington, DC.)

    News Article: Justice Ministry Reports on Number of Registered Parties, Unions, and Non-Governmental Organizations in Belarus

      "Belarus has 18 political parties, 39 national trade unions, 18 confederations of associations, 153 international and 709 national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), according to the country's justice ministry."

      "There are also 15 trade unions of enterprises, institutions and organizations and 955 local NGOs in the country, the ministry says."

      "The number of NGOs had been much larger before Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered their reregistration in February 1999. It will take the third sector 2-3 years to achieve the pre-reregistration number of NGOs, Justice Minister Gennady Vorontsov said at a news conference held on November 9. Before the reregistration campaign, Belarus had 27 political parties, 42 trade unions, 1,164 national and international NGOs and 1,269 local ones."

      Source: BelaPAN, No. 4; Friday, December 1, 2000; 5:50 p.m.

    From the official Republic of Belarus Permanent Mission to the United Nations Web site:

      Political Parties

      "The multi-party system has been formed as a result of democratization of socio-political life in Belarus. Acting in the framework of the Constitution political parties contribute to bringing to light the will of people, participate in elections, influence the molding of public opinion."

      "They have the right to use state mass media. The Constitution bans creation and activity of political parties and other public associations which pursue an aim of forcible change of constitutional system and carry on propaganda of war as well as national, religious and racial strife. Activity of political parties in Belarus is regulated by appropriate legislation."

      "As of 1 February 1996, the Ministry of Justice has registered 34 political parties. The larger of them are the Communist Party, the Agricultural Party, the Belarussian Socio-Democratic Party Gramada, and the United Civil Party. 16 political parties are represented in the Supreme Soviet of 13th convocation."

    2001 Presidential Election

    Apparent candidate for the 2001 Presidential election: Semion Domash (Siamyon Domash) Web site     (in English, Belarusian, & Russian. General news items about the forthcoming election are also available on the Web site.)

      (Mr. Domash is apparently the leading candidate, unifying those who would like to see someone other than Mr. L. as president, as well as a return to democracy, etc.)

    • The Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), Adradzhennie

      • Web site 1 (see CCP Web site, noted below): The Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), Adradzhennie

      • Web site 3 (in Cyrillic Belarusian [Win-1251] only):     (Беларускi Народны Фронт)

        • Acting Chairperson: Lyavon Burshchevskiy   within Belarus

        • Deputy Chairperson: Vintsuk Vyachorka

        • Deputy Chairperson: Yury Khodyko ?

        • Deputy Chairperson: Stanislav Gusak ?

        • Secretary of the Board: Vyacheslav Sivchik

        • Chairperson of the Viciebsk Regional Organization: Vladimir Pleshchenko

          • Note: The formal leader of the BPF is Zenon Poznyak, who lives abroad and who received political asylum in the U.S. in 1997.

          • See also the entry for Malady Front, the youth organization under the auspices of the Belarusian Popular Front.

          • See also BPF Press Release, 1997

      • The Council of Conservative Christian Party (CCP) of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF)

        • Led by Zyanon Pazniak; Yury Belenky is the CCP acting chairman

        • The BPF is underdoing transition in 1999-2000, and appears to be divided into two main factions, with the CCP, led by Zyanon Pazniak, being one of them. Vintsuk Vyachorka is the leader of the BPF itself, although change is still taking place.

        • Web site 2 (in Cyrillic Belarusian [Win-1251] and English):     Кансерватыўна-Хрысціянская Партыя -- БНФ (Партыя БНФ)

    • The United Civil Party (UCP)   (official Web site in English, Belarusian, & Russian; also includes regular news updates about Belarus)

      • An earlier Web site about the UCP:   The United Civil Party (UCP)   The First Belarusian political party on the Web (according to Mr. Silitski).
      • Chairperson: Stanislau Bagdankievich
      • Deputy Chairperson: Aleksandr Dobrovolsky
        • Chairperson, Mensk City Branch: Pavel Kozlovsky
          • The United Civil Party (UCP)
            ul. Sudmalisa d.3 kv.10
            Belarus 220010 Minsk

            Tel: 375 (17) 229 0834

            Fax: 375 (17) 227 2912

    • The Agrarian Party    (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        The 4th convention of the Agrarian Party on March 31, 2000, pledged its support for the Lukashenka regime. Mikhail Shimansky, chairman of the party, promised to "cooperate constructively with the government." In his opinion, the party should defend the interests of peasants by entering all branches of government and taking an active part in this fall's parliamentary election.

        (Originally, the party won 44 seats in the 13th Supreme Soviet and became the largest group in the unicameral Belarusian parliament. The then-leader of the party, Semyon Sharetsky, was elected Supreme Soviet chairman. The constitutional crisis of 1996 split the party into those who supported President Aleksandr Lukashenko in his effort to disband the parliament and those who sided with the opposition.   Information from BelaPAN, April 1, 2000.)

          Chairperson: Mikhail Shimansky   (chief editor of the government newspaper Narodnaya Hazeta)

    • The Belarusian United Ecological Party of Greens (BEG)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        The Mensk-based Belarusian Ecological Party and the Party of Belarusian Greens based in Gomel have adopted a Platform for Uniting into One Party; December, 1997.

        For more details about BEG, refer to Belarusian Environmental Organizations at this Web site.

        Chairperson: ?

    • The Belarusian Green Party (BGP)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: Nikolai Kartash

    • Belarusian Party of Common Sense     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: ?

    • The Belarusian Patriotic Party (BPP-1)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

      Chairperson: Anatoly Barankevich

        You'll get an idea of their values from an excerpt of a news item:

        "Participants at the 5th convention of the Belarusian Patriotic Party (BPP-1) held in Minsk this past weekend adopted an address calling on the Belarusians to rally round President Aleksandr Lukashenko and support his policies by every possible means."

        "The authors of the address expressed solidarity with those in Russia who oppose the 'unpopular regime of Boris Yeltsin' and demanded that 'pro-Zionist predominance be removed from the [Russian] governmental entities and media.' The BPP requested Mr Lukashenko to adopt a 'strict personnel policy' to 'protect the country and government from penetration on the part of pro-Western, pro-Zionist elements, the abundant anti-Slavic and anti-Christian religions and destructive sects.'"

        "The convention reelected Anatoly Barankevich as chairman of the BPP. Mr Barankevich told BelaPAN that the party places much hope on the next elections for local soviets and will do everything to gain as many seats in the soviets as possible."

        "Participants at the forum also discussed ways to encourage deeper Belarusian-Russian integration and rapprochement with former Soviet republics."

          Source: BelaPAN, No. 62; Monday, November 16, 1998; 8:00 p.m.

    • The Belarusian Peasants Party (BPP-2)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson of the BPP Yevgeny Lugin

        Chairperson of the Supreme Rada: Mikhas Antonenko

          You'll get an idea of their values from an excerpt of a news item:

          "The Belarusian Peasants' Party (BPP) is to discuss a draft agrarian manifesto at its 7th regular conference scheduled for this winter."

          "Mikhail Antonenko, chairman of the BPP's Central Rada, criticized the government's current agricultural policy in an interview with a BelaPAN correspondent. 'Instead of establishing mutually beneficial cooperation and social partnership with the agricultural producers, the government strengthens administrative and command pressure, retains bans on the export and sale of products at free prices, and keeps making state purchases at fixed prices,' Mr Antonenko noted."

          "According to him, the BPP presses for private ownership of land, the restructuring of collective and state farms and encouragement of private farming."

          "The BPP's draft agrarian manifesto will be centred on the liberalisation of the food market and the imposition of a tax on food producers depending on the fertility of land they use for farming, Mr Antonenko said. 'Later on, with falling market prices which orientate to the conditions of the best producer, enterprises having low-fertility soil will be supported by the government's subsidies and the tax will be abolished,' he added."

          "In his opinion, the BPP's agrarian policy will help build partnership relations based on mutual interests between the government and farmers."

            Source: BelaPAN, No. 62; Monday, November 16, 1998; 8:00 p.m.

    • Belarusian Women's Party Nadzeya

        Mission Statement of the Party Nadzeya: Prioritizing protection of family, motherhood, and childhood, Nadzeya is a party of civil progress and democratic reforms, a party of social justice and global human values, a party of economic and political freedom.

        Chairperson: Valentina Polevikova

        WWW: Belarusian Women's Party Nadzeya


          21 Masherov Ave, Suite 707
          Minsk 220126, Belarus

          Phone: 011-375-17-223-8957

          Fax: 011-375-17-223-9040


    Note: Try not to confuse the next two with each other.

    • The Belarusian Party of Communists (BPC)     They are anti-Lukashenka     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        First Secretary of the Central Committee: Sergei Kalyakin

    • The Communist Party of Belarus (CPB)     They are pro-Lukashenka     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        First Secretary of the Central Committee: Viktor Chikin   (also deputy head of the Mensk government)

        Manager of the Central Committee: Leonid Shkolnikov

    • The Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada (BSDG)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: Stanislav Shushkevich   Speaker of the 13th Supreme Soviet (legal Belarusian parliament, though not recognized by the current regime).

        • Note: Although registered as a political party with the Belarusian Ministry of Justice in June, 1998, Leonid Deiko, BSDP spokesman, said that the new organization should not be regarded as a political party because more than half of its members are affiliated with other parties.

      • Also see information about the youth organization, Belarusian Social Democratic Youth Maladaya Hramada.

    • The Belarusian Social Democratic Party (BSDP)

          Chairperson: Nikolai Statkevich (Статкевіч Мікалай Віктаравіч)

          WWW:     (in Belarusian; Cyrillic, Windows 1251 encoding. Also in English.)

          пл. Ф.Скарыны. 153-2-107
          220114 Мiнск, Беларусь
          тел/факс: +375 17 263 37 48

      • The All-Belarusian Women's League (ABWL)

        The women's branch of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party.

          Chairperson: Nina Stuzhinskaya

    • The Christian Democratic Party of Belarus (CDPB)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: ?

    • The "For Social Justice" Party     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: Igor Klyuyev

    • Leninist Young Communist League of Belarus (LYCLB)

        Refer to the LYCLB entry in the Clubs and Youth Organizations section.

    • The Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus (LDPB)     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: Sergei Gaidukevich

          June, 1999: " 'The LDPB has 26,654 members, including more than 9,000 members in Minsk, 6 regional, 88 town, 92 district branches, and 2,442 primary cells,' Mr. Gaidukevich said."

          Source: BelaPAN, No. 56; Monday, June 14, 1999; 2:30 p.m.

    • Malady Front

        See the entry for Malady Front, the youth organization under the auspices of the Belarusian Popular Front.

    • Party of Labor and Justice     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: ?

    • The Society of Afghan War Veterans     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: ?

    • The Society of People with Disabilities     (not on the Web, as far as I know)

        Chairperson: ?

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