This File Last Updated: 1999/04/18

The Referendum of November, 1996

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As far as I am aware, no major country in the world, other than the Russian Federation, has recognized the legitimacy of this "election". Many European nations and ruling bodies as well as other nations, such as the USA, have protested this so-called election and have challenged its legitimacy and thus results--and haven't let up with such protests and challenges since the "referendum"!   (sic)

But this is not to imply there is no hope and that no one is doing anything about the "retreat from democratic reforms" that characterizes the current regime. Clearly, Belarusians have been dominated by other nations for most of their history, yet they have also had democratic values and institutions for an even longer time (going back to the Middle Ages, at the least). The latest attempt at democracy (going back to the late 1980's), is obviously not without setbacks--including this current "situation". . . .


In a country where

What can one expect other than tragedy and poverty? Clearly, Belarus has had more trouble with its post-Soviet existence than any other former Soviet of the USSR (although a couple of central Asian nations have problems with would-be dictators or Russian colonialism as well).

The referendum is yet another in an apparently endless series of disasters for Belarus.

By all means, please read as many different news sources about Belarus and this Soviet-style "election" and come to your own conclusions. That is something you could not do in today's Belarus.

Results of the Referendum

The parliament's draft constitution received only 7.9% of votes cast in the 24 November referendum, international agencies reported the next day. Earlier, it was reported that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's draft constitution won 70.5% of the vote. 88.5% of respondents voted in favor of changing the national holiday from 17 July, when the republic declared independence, to 3 July, when the Red Army liberated Mensk from the Germans. Lukashenka's other two questions--on banning the free sale and purchase of land and on retaining the death penalty--also passed by a wide margin. Neither of the parliament's two questions passed. Only 29.9% voted for electing local administrations by direct popular vote and only 32.1% were in favor of funding all state agencies directly from the budget. Voting among the KGB and military was particularly high, with 99.6% casting ballots. Former head of the Central Electoral Commission Viktar Hanchar said the results were forged, and independent observers claimed irregularities in voting procedures.   OMRI Daily Digest, Nov. 26, 1996; Ustina Markus

Pre- and Post- Referendum Events Related to "Free" elections

Other Collections of WWW Articles and WWW Pointers about the Referendum

Refer the following sources for other information:

Also refer to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus   pointers on this Web site

Also refer to the   Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (Draft)-- Amendments   as proposed by the Agrarian and Communist groups of parliamentarians on the Web site in Belarus.

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Original content and overall form ©1996-2004 by Peter Kasaty : All Rights Reserved. Last Updated:    1999/04/18

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