Belarus

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Claire Zinberg

Professor Graham

Political Science 2

September 27, 2011

For my term paper I chose to focus on the Republic of Belarus. It is a small country located east of Poland with a population of 9,600,000 people. The country used to be apart of the USSR until it gained independence on August 25, 1991. Belarus considers themselves to be a Republic but in actuality they have a dictatorship. The chief of state has been Aleksander Lukashenko since July 20, 1994. The reason that this country is considered a dictatorship is because according to the constitution, the next election should have taken place in 1999 but Lukashenko extended it until 2001. Also with an October 2004 referendum, gave the president permission to run for a third and fourth term leaving Lukashenko still in power until this day.

Out of all the countries to choose from Belarus stood out to me the most. It was interesting to me to see that according to the CIA World Fact book, the country views themselves as a Republic but as a result of the president’s actions to extend his term a great deal is defined as a dictatorship. I am interested in learning as to why they are considered a dictatorship, what limits the president from extending his term however much he would like, who makes the final decisions, and has anyone tried to stop him? I am also interested in learning how the country has managed to do on its own since the break from the Soviet Union. I hope to learn a great deal about the countries political, economical, military, and overall culture especially in comparison to our own government here in the United States of America.
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