BELARUS
Parliamentary Chamber: Verkhovny Soviet

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1995

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Chamber:
  Verkhovny Soviet


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  14 May 1995
28 May 1995


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new Parliament provided for in the March 1994 Constitution.


Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections had previously been held in March 1990 for the former, 360-member Supreme Soviet. After independence was attained in August 1991, a new Constitution providing for a presidential system of government and a smaller national legislature of 260 Deputies was adopted in March 1994.

On 11 April 1995, Parliament rejected three of the four issues to be put to national referendum on the same day as general elections, and President of the Republic Aleksandr Lukashenka – in office since July 1994 and a firm advocate of the issues – threatened its dissolution. The proposed referenda concerned closer ties with the Russian Federation and the President’s power to dissolve the legislature.

Altogether 2348 candidates and 22 registered parties (including approximately 43% with no party affiliation) contested the 260 seats at stake. During the campaign which lasted from 24 April to 13 May, the President spoke out against corruption, for price controls and in favour of integration of Slav countries of the ex-USSR. The opposition underlined the governmental control of the mass media and the President’s ongoing confrontation with Parliament, especially its more nationalist members.

Polling day was monitored by foreign observers from the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Due especially to the multitude of candidates and the high thresholds required for election, only 18 Deputies were outright victors in the first round of voting and only 101 more (of 432 remaining candidates) in the second on 28 May. The resulting total of 119 fell short of the two-thirds (174) legal quorum which would have allowed the new legislature to sit. New polling would thus be needed. As for the above-mentioned elections, the foreign observers deemed them neither free nor fair for a number of reasons. The four referenda, for their part, were all approved.

On 14 June, an extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet resolved to hold a fresh round of elections to a newly reconstituted Supreme Soviet in the autumn of 1995.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (14 May 1995): Elections results  
Voters 64.7%
Round no 2 (28 May 1995): Elections results  
Voters 56.6%

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Agrarian Party 5
Communist Party 3
Party of People’s Accord 1
Independents 9
Others 0
Round no 2: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Agrarian Party 25
Communist Party 24
Party of People’s Accord 2
Independents 44
Others 6


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Copyright 1995 Inter-Parliamentary Union