Belarus: Business as Usual With Lukashenka

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s actions in his first months in office were as contradictory as his campaign pledges. He made moves toward implementing market economic reforms, despite campaign promises to halt privatization. On several occasions, he appeared willing to concede almost anything to Russia; on others, he defended Belarusian interests. He chose a medley of conservatives and reformers, new and old guard, to serve as his advisers. Although he ran for office on an anti-corruption ticket, members of his administration were later accused of abuse of office. Some of Lukashenka’s supporters have become disillusioned with the president, and several former rivals have won appointments in governing bodies.