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Belarus: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Belarus
conventional short form: Belarus
local long form: Respublika Byelarus'/Respublika Belarus'
local short form: Byelarus'/Belarus'
former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
CapitalMinsk Minsk
geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel' (Gomel), Horad Minsk* (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers; Russian spelling provided for reference when different from Belarusian
Constitutionseveral previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994; amended 1996, 2004 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: president Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994); note - the US does not recognize the results of the 19 December 2010 elections under which the Central Election Commission of Belarus declared LUKASHENKO president
head of government: prime minister Mikhail MYASNIKOVICH (since 28 December 2010); first deputy prime minister Vladimir SEMASHKO (since December 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place on 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999, however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held on 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run in a third (19 March 2006) and fourth election (19 December 2010); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 79.7%, Andrey SANNIKOV 2.6%, other candidates 17.7%; note - election marred by electoral fraud
Flag descriptionred horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country
Independence25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chairman, deputy chairman, and NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 judges including a chairman and deputy chairman)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Council of the Republic; judges initially appointed for 5 years and evaluated for life appointment; Constitutional Court judges - 6 appointed by the president and 6 elected by the Chamber of Representatives; term of judges is 11 years with an age limit of 70
subordinate courts: regional, district, city, town, and military courts
Legal systemcivil law system; note - nearly all major codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, family and labor) have been revised and came into force in 1999 or 2000
Legislative branchbicameral national assembly or natsionalnoye sobraniye consists of the Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president, to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); note - the US does not recognize the legitimacy of the national assembly
elections: Palata Predstaviteley - last held on 23 September 2012 (next to be held September 2016); OSCE observers determined that the election was neither free nor impartial and that vote counting was problematic in a number of polling stations; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat with no opposition representation in the chamber; international observers determined that the previous election, on 28 September 2008, despite minor improvements also fell short of democratic standards, with pro-LUKASHENKO candidates winning every seat
election results: Sovet Respubliki - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Palata Predstaviteley - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KPB 3, AP 1, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 1, no affiliation 105
International organization participationBSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
National holidayIndependence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Political pressure groups and leadersAssembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs (Sergey MATSKEVICH) (unregistered)
Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (Aleksandr YAROSHUK)
Belarusian Association of Journalists (Zhana LITVINA)
Belarusian Helsinki Committee (Aleh HULAK)
Belarusian Independence Bloc (unregistered) and For Freedom movement (Aleksandr MILINKEVICH)
Belarusian Organization of Working Women (Irina ZHIKHAR)
BPF-Youth (Andrus KRECHKA) (unregistered)
Charter 97 (Andrey SANNIKOV) (unregistered)
Perspektiva small business association (Anatol SHUMCHENKO)
Nasha Vyasna ("Our Spring") human rights center (Ales BYALYATSKI) (unregistered)
"Tell the Truth" Movement (Vladimir NEKLYAYEV) (unregistered)
Women's Independent Democratic Movement (Ludmila PETINA)
Young Belarus (Malady Belarus) (Zmitser KASPYAROVICH) (unregistered)
Youth Front (Malady Front) (Zmitser DASHKEVICH) (unregistered)
Political parties and leaderspro-government parties: Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP (Mikhail SHIMANSKY)
Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR (Nikolay ULAKHOVICH, chairman)
Communist Party of Belarus or KPB (Igor KARPENKO)
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP (Sergey GAYDUKEVICH)
Republican Party of Labor and Justice (Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANYY)
opposition parties: Belarusian Christian Democracy Party (Pavel SEVERINETS) (unregistered)
Belarusian Party of the Left "Fair World" (Sergey KALYAKIN)
Belarusian Popular Front or BPF (Aleksey YANUKEVICH)
Belarusian Social-Democratic Hramada (Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH)
Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada ("Assembly") or BSDPH (Irina VESHTARD)
Belarusian Social Democratic Party People's Assembly ("Narodnaya Hramada") (Nikolay STATKEVICH) (unregistered)
Christian Conservative Party or BPF (Zyanon PAZNIAK)
European Belarus Campaign (Andrey SANNIKOV)
Party of Freedom and Progress (Vladimir NOVOSYAD) (unregistered)
"Tell the Truth" Campaign (Vladimir NEKLYAYEV)
United Civic Party or UCP (Anatoliy LEBEDKO)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Oleg KRAVCHENKO
chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: (1) (202) 986-1604
FAX: (1) (202) 986-1805
consulate(s) general: New York
National anthemname: "My, Bielarusy" (We Belarusians)
lyrics/music: Mikhas KLIMKOVICH and Uladzimir KARYZNA/Nester SAKALOUSKI
note: music adopted 1955, lyrics adopted 2002; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Belarus kept the music of its Soviet-era anthem but adopted new lyrics; also known as "Dziarzauny himn Respubliki Bielarus" (State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ethan GOLDRICH (since July 2012)
embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
mailing address: PSC 78, Box B Minsk, APO 09723
telephone: (375) (17) 210-12-83
FAX: (375) (17) 234-7853