Around 300 people responded to the call by oppositional politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu to protest in October Square on 12 September against the rigged parliamentary elections. The gathering in central Minsk started peacefully, but after the authorities tried to provoke the demonstrators, they began to march in protest.
For the first time since the 2000 election, opposition candidates have been elected to the Belarusian parliament. While this is certainly not a revolution, it represents another step towards the West.
Belarus is a unique case in the post-Soviet space: Contrary to all its neighbours, political parties are nearly absent in daily life and they do not play any role in the decision-making process. This situation dates back to President Alexander Lukashenko’s takeover of the power in 1994.
It was clear from the very beginning: Alexander Lukashenko, authoritarian leader of Belarus since 1994, would easily “win” his fifth presidential election on Sunday 11th October 2015. This year’s outcome was his highest ever victory: 83.5 percent voted for the incumbent president, as announced by the Belarusian Central Election Commission.…