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Belarus: The last dictator
Belarus: The last dictator

Author(s): Peter Rutland
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Globális Tudás Alapítvány

Summary/Abstract: At the May 2006 summit meeting of nine former Soviet republics in Vilnius, US Vice President Dick Cheney called Belarus the “last European dictatorship.” But while Belarus may indeed be the last dictatorship in Europe, President Alexander Lukashenko’s position appears very solid for the moment (despite the hopes of Western governments and democracy activists that the “colour revolutions” would continue to sweep through other successor states of the Soviet Union), and there are no signs indicating that he might lose his office within the foreseeable future. After all, Lukashenko returned to power in 1994 with anti-corruption slogans endorsed by the voters, and has since held half a dozen elections and referenda which he skilfully used within the political system to solidify his hold on power. Lukashenko is often portrayed as a buffoon, an uppity kolkhoz director only able to cling to power by mercilessly employing violence. In reality, however, he embodies a far more complex political phenomenon. Though it is undeniable that he owes his political survival partly to suppression, there are other factors at play, and the article takes stock of these.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 59-70
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English