Lidziya Yarmoshyna, chairwoman of Belarus’s Central Election Commission, said today that the most likely date for the country’s presidential elections is November 15, 2015.
Formally, the date for presidential elections ought to be set by the Chamber of Representatives, Belarus’s lower house.
According to the election law, a candidate for the presidential post needs to be a Belarusian citizen who was born in Belarus at least 35 years before the election date and has resided in the country for the past 10 years.
Incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka was first elected to his post in 1994. All the subsequent presidential polls in Belarus — in 2001, 2006 and 2010 — were deemed by European election observers as unfair and not meeting democratic standards.
Despite wide international criticism Lukashenka enjoys a good measure of support at home and meets no serious challengers to his rule among the opposition.
He is especially popular among the electorate for his populist ways in dealing with cabinet ministers and other officials. The most recent example of his idiosyncratic rhetoric could be heard at a government meeting on November 10, where Lukashenka chided education minister Syarhey Maskevich for educating his son in the United States:
«Some of our ministers have worked up to the position in which they send their children to live permanently in the United States and to receive education there while they are reforming our education system here. It is clear what results we can get from such reforms.»