Backgrounder: Belarusian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko

Incumbent Belarussian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko has been elected for a fourth term since he became the head of the state in 1994, announced the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus early Monday.

Lukashenko was born on Aug. 30, 1954 in the urban Kopys settlement of the northeastern Vitsebsk Voblast of Belarus. He graduated from the Mogilev Pedagogical Institute in 1975 and the Belarussian Agricultural Academy in 1985. He joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1979.

A teacher in his early life, Lukashenko served in the Border Guard from 1975 to 1977 and in the Soviet Army from 1980 to 1982. After retiring from the army, he became deputy chairman of two collective farms in the province of Mogilev in 1982 and 1985. He was promoted to director of the Gorodets state farm in Shklov district of Mogilev.

Lukashenko was elected as a deputy in the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus in 1990. In July 1993, he was elected chairman of the anti-corruption committee of the Belarussian parliament. His outstanding performance won him wide support from the people.

The new constitution passed in March 1994 made possible the first presidential election in Belarus. At the age of 40, Lukashenko became the first president in Belarussian history after winning 80.1 percent of the vote in the election in July 1994. In November 1996, a referendum was conducted extending Lukashenko's original term of five years to seven years. He was reelected to the presidency in 2001 and 2006.


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