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Belarus Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
    conventional short form: Belarus
    local long form: Respublika Byelarus'
    local short form: none
    former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

    Data code: BO

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Minsk

    Administrative divisions: 6 voblastsi (singular—voblasts') and one municipality* (harady, singular—horad); Brestskaya (Brest), Homyel'skaya (Homyel'), Horad Minsk*, Hrodzyenskaya (Hrodna), Mahilyowskaya (Mahilyow), Minskaya, Vitsyebskaya (Vitsyebsk)
    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

    Independence: 25 August 1991 (Belarusian Supreme Soviet declaration of independence from the Soviet Union)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note—date set by referendum of 24 November 1996; represents Minsk liberation from German occupation

    Constitution: 30 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996

    Legal system: based on civil law system

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)
    head of government: Prime Minister Sergey LING (acting since 18 November 1996, confirmed 19 February 1997); First Deputy Prime Ministers Petr PROKOPOVICH (since 23 December 1996) and Vasiliy DOLGOLEV (since 2 December 1998); Deputy Prime Ministers Valeriy KOKOREV (since 23 August 1994), Vladimir ZAMETALIN (since 15 July 1997), Ural LATYPOV (since 30 December 1997), Gennadiy NOVITSKIY (since 11 February 1997), Leonid KOZIK (since 4 February 1997), Aleksandr POPKOV (since 10 November 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 24 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should be in 1999, however LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via the November 1996 referendum); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
    election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO elected president; percent of vote—Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH 15%
    note: first presidential elections took place in June-July 1994

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats; eight appointed by the president and 56 indirectly elected by deputies of local councils for four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Pretsaviteley (110 seats; note—present members came from the former Supreme Soviet which LUKASHENKO disbanded in November 1996)
    elections: last held May and November-December 1995 (two rounds, each with a run-off; disbanded after the November 1996 referendum; next to be held NA)
    election results: after the November 1996 referendum, seats for the Chamber of Representatives were filled by former Supreme Soviet members as follows: PKB 24, Agrarian 14, Party of Peoples Concord 5, LDPB 1, UPNAZ 1, Green World Party 1, Belarusian Social Sports Party 1, Ecological Party 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1, independents 61; 58 of the 64 seats in the Council of the Republic have been appointed/elected

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the president; Constitutional Court, half of the judges appointed by the president and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives

    Political parties and leaders: Party of Communists Belarusian or PKB [Sergei KALYAKIN and Vasiliy NOVIKOV, chairmen]; Belarusian Communist Party or KPB [Yetrem SOKOLOV and Viktor CHIKIN, chairmen]; Agrarian Party [Aleksandr PAVLOV, acting chairman]; Belarusian Popular Front or BNF [Levon BARSHEVSKIY, acting chairman]; Civic Accord Bloc (United Civic Party) or CAB [Stanislav BOGDANKEVICH, chairman]; Liberal-Democratic Party or LDPB [Sergei GAYDUKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Anatoliy BARANKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Labor Party or BPP [Aleksandr BUKHVOSTOV, chairman]; Party of All-Belarusian Unity and Concord or UPNAZ [Dmitriy BULAKOV, chairman]; Belarusian Social-Democrat Hramada or SDBP [Nikolay STATKEVICH, chairman]; Women's Party Nadezhda [Valentina POLEVIKOVA, chairperson]; Green Party of Belarus or BPZ [Nikolay KARTASH, chairman]; Green World Party [Oleg GROMYKO, chairman]; Republican Party of Labor and Justice or RPPS [Anatoliy NETYLKIN, chairman]; Belarus Peasants [Yevgeniy LUGIN, chairman]; Belarusian Social Sports Party or BSSP [Aleksandr ALEKSANDROVICH, chairman]; Ecological Party or BEP [Liudmila YELIZAROVA, chairperson]; Belarusian Socialist Party [Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV]; Savic Assembly Belaya Rus [Nikolai SERGEEV, chairman]; Belarusian Christian-Democratic Unity or BKDZ [Petr SILKO, chairman]; Christian-Democratic Party [Nikolai KRUKOVSKIY, chairman]; Christian-Democratic Choice [Valeriy SOROKA, chairman]; Party of Common Sense [Ivan KARAVAICHIK, chairman]; Belarusian Humanitarian Party [Yevgeniy NOVIKOV, chairman]; Republican Party [Vladimir BELAZOV, chairman]; National Party [Anatoliy ASTAPENKO, chairman]; National Democratic Party [Viktor NAUMENKO, chairman]; People's Party [Viktor TERESCHENKO, chairman]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Party [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH, chairman]

    International organization participation: CCC, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires CHEREPANSKY
    chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-1604
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805
    consulate(s) general: New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel V. SPECKHARD (recalled to Washington in June 1998; Charge d'Affaires Randall LE COCQ)
    embassy: Starovilenskaya #46-220002, Minsk
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [375] (17) 231-5000
    FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853

    Flag description: red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe of white on the hoist side bears the Belarusian national ornament in red

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)