Officially: Республика Беларусь; Рэспубліка Беларусь.
Seat of government: Минск / Мінск.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: Autocracy under the current president.
Head of government: Александр Лукашенко, president.
Opposition parties: Абяднаныя Дэмакратычныя Сілы Беларусі, led by Аляксандар Мілінкевіч; Беларускі Незалежніцкі Блёк; Беларускі Народны Фронт (officially Партыя БНФ or БНФ Адраджэньне).
Assessment: Лукашенко, originally democratically elected in 1994, has steadily built a dictatorship, starting particularly with a 1996 referendum, whose official results greatly strengthened the institution of the presidency. Elections are rigged and opponents are imprisoned. Even a 2008 parliamentary election held with the intent of demonstrating democratization to the West led to a parliament completely without opposition to the rιgime. After the 2010 presidential election ended in protests, protesters were attacked; several presidential candidates were among the beaten and the government imprisoned seven of them, including Андрэй Саннікаў, who finished second. Лукашенко originally hoped to transfer his rule to the union of Беларусь with Россия; while he chairs the Союзное Государство and Минск hosts it, Владимир Путин dominates it and has shown no willingness to yield, so Лукашенко has become something of a Путин critic.
FH: 7-6, not free. Econ: 3.34 (132), authoritarian.
Updated: 2014 November 17.