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Belarus Index
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Constitutional Background

The Belarussian Supreme Soviet declared sovereignty on 27 July 1990 and adopted a new Constitution on 15 March 1994 (cf. below).  It is, however, far from democratic rule.  When the Belarus Constitutional Court ruled five presidential decrees invalid, including one that overturned the budget and another that banned independent trade unions, President Alexander Lukashenka said he would ignore the Court.  Also, active members of pro-democracy groups are assaulted and sometimes imprisoned.

History and News

  • 17 Oct 2004:  Lukashenka wins a sham referendum to change the constitution; this allows him unlimited re-election after 2006.
  • 2 April 1997: Lukashenka and Russian President Boris Yeltsin meet in Moscow to sign a treaty establishing a "Community of Sovereign Republics" that is not yet supplemented by any substance, but might eventually result in common citizenship and a currency union.
  • May 1995: General elections lead to only 120 deputies for the 260 seats of the parliament because in most constituencies, the turnout is below the minimum of 50%.
  • 1995: Lukashenka wins 80% of the vote in presidential elections.
  • 30 Sep 1994: Anti-crisis program to stabilize the economy.
  • July 1994: Moscau-oriented Alexander Lukaschenko wins Presidential Elections and starts autocratic rule.
  • 15 March 1994: New Constitution adopted by the Supreme Soviet.
  • May 1993: Eight-year program on structural reforms of the industry.
  • 27 July 1990: Declaration on State Sovereignty by Supreme Soviet of Belarus.
  • 1986: Nuclear desaster at Chernobyl contaminates a fifth of the country.
  • 1978: Constitution adopted by the Supreme Soviet.
  • 22 June 1941 - 28 July 1944: Occupation by fascist Germany; a third of the country's people are killed during the war.
  • 18 March 1921: Treaty of Riga; Western Belarus becomes part of Poland.
  • 1 Jan 1919: Declaration of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
  • 25 March 1918: Declaration of the independent Belarusian People's Republic.
  • 7 Nov 1917: October coup by Minsk Soviet; Bolshevik revolution in Russia.
  • 1863: Insurrection in Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania.
  • 1772: Division of the Commonwealth of Poland; Belarus territory becomes part of the Russian Empire.
  • 1569: Polish Kingdom and Grand Duchy of Lithuania unite into the federal Commonwealth of Poland.
  • 29 Sep 1529: Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania acknowledges Belarus.
  • 1230: Establishment of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 15th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.