Belarus, Trying Out A New Image
In her op-ed for Zeit Online, Maryna Rakhlei argues that parliamentary elections in Belarus on September 11 will run exactly as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko promised them to be: democratic as always, although he meant quite the opposite as no electoral campaign in Belarus has been recognized as free and fair by international observers since 1994. Rakhlei describes the dire economic situation and unexpected advantages that the election brings, such as cooperation between the state and non-governmental sector. At the same time, Minsk is afraid of reforms, be it serious amendments to the electoral code or introduction of international financial reporting standards into its public sector. As retaining control remains the main goal in Minsk, this electoral campaign will not be less controlled then the previous ones.