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Daniel Marcus

Do we vote in an illegal state? Lukashenko's candidacy doubted

Belarusian jurists doubt in the legitimacy of president Lukashenko's candidacy at the upcoming presidential election in October 2015. Meanwhile, the Belarusian constitutional court does not see any reason to examine the case.

On June 22, well before the October voting, a group of Belarusian jurists around Tamara Kovalchuk called on the constitutional court to scrutinize several legal inconsistencies, which concern the current presidency of Alexander Lukashenko. They cast doubt on the legitimacy of his candidacy at the upcoming presidential election.

The jurists mainly appeal to paragraph 112 of the current election law of the Belarusian Republic, which regulates the thematic scope of national referenda. One passage explicitly excludes those questions, which concern "the election or the dismissal of the president of the Republic of Belarus". But that is exactly what happened on October 17 in 2004 when people were asked whether they allowed "the first president of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to take part as a candidate at the presidential election of the Republic of Belarus".

To understand the context, we must remember that the second term of incumbent Lukashenko's presidency came closer to its end and the constitution of that time limited the presidency to two terms. According to official results, almost 88 % of voters affirmed the question and thereby the according modification of the constitution. Because of legal inconsistencies like the above-mentioned, Kovalchuk and her colleagues regard the 2004 referendum, and following presidential elections in 2006 and 2010 illegal.

Without responding to any details, the Belarusian constitutional court reacted some weeks later with a one-page letter, which briefly stated, that "reasons to initiate a proceedings could not be established". Discussions on that topic were deleted from Belarusian news pages, Kovalchuk reported.


Daniel Marcus



The background image is a derivative of "Belarus" by Marc Veraart, used under CC BY.