Is Belarus a Democratic Country?
Belarus is considered an authoritarian country.
Belarus’ constitution is “illegal and does not satisfy minimum democratic norms, therefore violating the principles of separation of powers and the rule of law,” according to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
Human Rights Watch has also condemned the Belarusian government’s abuses of human rights and measures against NGOs, independent journalists, national minorities, and opposition leaders.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice classified Belarus, along with six other countries, as part of the US’s list of tyrannical outposts in testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
The statement by Secretary Rice, according to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, “is a bad base” for forming a decent Belarusian-American relationship.
In early 2012, the EU imposed sanctions on 21 more Belarusians. Following Belarus’ expulsion of the EU and Polish embassies, EU countries withdrew their ambassadors from Belarus in unison, citing grave concerns about the country’s political tyranny.
It’s no secret that “Poland has taken the greatest stand against Belarus’s continued repression,” hosting opposition television stations like Belsat and “granting sanctuary to a number of exiled personalities.”
Several major opposition figures, including Yury Zacharanka and Viktar Hanchar, as well as independent journalists Dzmitry Zavadski and Veronika Cherkasova, have disappeared or died during Lukashenko’s reign.
Belarus is also the only country in Europe that still uses the death sentence for certain crimes as of 2017.
Who is the President of Belarus?
Alexander Lukashenko is the President of Belarus. He is one of the longest serving and longest current serving European presidents.