Chapter 1: Introduction: Building and Sustaining Democracy Next Chapter

Lawrence LeDuc, Richard G. Niemi & Pippa Norris

In: Comparing Democracies: Elections and Voting in the 21st Century

Chapter 1: Introduction: Building and Sustaining Democracy

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Introduction: Building and Sustaining Democracy
Introduction: Building and sustaining democracy
LawrenceLeDuc, Richard G.Niemi, and PippaNorris
Elections and Democracy: Three Cases
Belarus: Electoral Autocracy

President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has been dubbed “Europe's last dictator.”1 Ruling the country with an iron fist since 1994, his grip on power tightened further in 2004 when a controversial referendum abolished the constitution's two-term presidential limit. Leading opponents have been jailed, dissidents repressed, and many protesters arrested (Frear 2008; Way 2005). On 29 September, 2008 Belarusians had the opportunity to cast their ballots in elections for the 110-member House of Representatives, the third such contest held under the 1994 Constitution. Citizens had a choice of candidates, five dozen representing five opposition parties, competing alongside 183 independents. On election day, however, pro-Lukashenko deputies swept the ...

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