Belarus: A Nation with No Politics
WARSAW - Last week, Belarus held parliamentary elections - an event which usually carries a substantial weight with a state's future. But here it doesn’t matters. Elections to the House of Representatives have no real significance vis-a-vis Belarus' political direction.
Five parties managed to win seats in parliament including one mandate for an opposition United Civil Party - an incident that has not occurred in the past 12 years.
Other groupings in the new political composition are either openly pro-government or considered a constructive opposition, which gets along with the regime. Nearly 90 percent of the elected deputies however have run as independent candidates - an oxymoron that in Belarus customarily means supporting the stronger and remaining low-profile.
The parliament itself acts only as a rubber stamp machine, which has an inexhaustible supply of ink. In the 2012-2016 term of office only three out of over 400 passed laws were initiated by its members. The rest were put forward by president Aleksandr Lukashenko, who is the one and only power in the country since 1994...
In his epic 2007 novel Ice, the award-winning Polish science fiction writer Jacek Dukaj describes an alternative history in which World War I never happened, Poland is still under the rule of the tsar, and the Russian Empire is almost entirely covered by a mysterious frozen substance.