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According to official figures, about two thirds of the population of Belarus support changing the constitution.

According to official figures, about two thirds of the population of Belarus support changing the constitution.

sAnd two-thirds of Belarusians, according to official data, have the post of head of state Alexander Lukashenko The proposed constitutional amendment was voted on. On Monday night, Russian news agencies reported that “65.16 percent of the electorate voted for changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus,” Igor Karpenko, the head of the Central Electoral Commission of Belarus, announced, and the turnout was 78.63 percent.

The Constitutional Amendment Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, managed to get more terms in office. It also links the former Soviet Republic closely to Russia. It provides lifelong immunity for former presidents and two terms for office – but this will only take effect in the next presidential election. This means that 67-year-old Lukashenko could run two more times and stay in power until 2035 if he wins the election.

Repression and arrests

opposing exiles Svetlana Tikhanovskaya He declared the vote illegal due to the state’s persecution of Lukashenko’s critics.

According to human rights activists, hundreds of people were arrested in the run-up to the referendum. And the human rights organization Wesna listed the names of more than 300 people arrested on Sunday evening. Videos posted by human rights activists show how people were taken in by police officers and larger groups demonstrated.

Putin and Lukashenko

In changing the constitution, Lukashenko is following the example of the Russian president Vladimir Putinwho held a referendum in 2020 that allowed him to remain in power until 2036. The governor in Minsk was able to count on Putin’s help in crushing mass protests after Lukashenko’s controversial re-election in August 2020.

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