Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko
(1954-)

Born in Kopys, Vitebsk, Belarus. He graduated from the State University and earned a further degree in ecomonics from the Belarusian Agricultural Academy, following both academic terms with two year stints in the Soviet army. He managed a state farm during the 1980s before being elected to the Supreme Council in 1990.

Lukashenko stood in and won the Presidential elections of 1994 when the electorate of Belarus grew weary of the liberalising regime and backed his candidacy on an anti-inflation and anti-corruption ticket. He certainly did not disappoint those voters who feared the brave new world and longed for the safety of a strong state; following his election Lukashenko reintroduced Soviet price controls, moved the economy back into Russia's sphere of influence, and introduced an authoritarian constitution. According to the official government figures the economy has been performing minor miracles since Lukashenko took over, with 1997-2002 GDP growth at 36% and inflation at a controlled 2%. Cooked books of course. The government admittedly pays its employees regularly and on time (which is more than can be said for other parts of the CIS) but it preforms this feat by simply printing more roubles; the money supply doubling very year or so. Combine this with rigid price caps and the falsity of the economy becomes clear- no one outside of the country will touch the currency.

The state media continues to be used to promote the man at the centre of affairs in Minsk while all other outlets have effectivley been muzzled, which probably accounts for Lukashenko's strong showing in the 2001 Presidential elections (he won with a 75.65% majority.) Though in all fairness the opposition in the country is splintered and ineffective...which suits the President just fine.

Length of Rule - Eight years

An authoritarian style of rule is characteristic of me, and I have always admitted it

Alexander Lukashenko

Related Links

Lukashenko Profile

The President's official site

Lukashenko's Constitutional Violations

The Day After Belarus: Freedom to Submit

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