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Elena A. Korasteleva, "Electoral Volatility in Postcommunist Belarus: Explaining the Paradox," Party Politics, 6 (July 2000), 343-358.

First Paragraph:
Despite its early extrication from communist rule, the Republic of Belarus has experienced a protracted course of polity transformation. Its democratization seems highly controversial and even inverse in nature. After 9 years of autonomy, Belarus, rather than leading the way in the democratization process, is now lagging behind most other Central and East European democracies. Moreover, national sovereignty, earnestly sought in 1991, has turned into a superfluous burden for 77 percent of the population, and the ruling elite selfishly exploits the public desire for a restoration of the Russia-Belarus Union. The original 1994 parliamentary constitution was altered in 1996 by referendum, to the President's preferred design, and parliament has displayed no disloyalty to the incumbent since. Economic reforms have likewise stagnated. A policy of inaction has been pursued as the best option in a collapsing order.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: Ideological party spectrum in Belarus according to votes' perceptions, October-November 1996
Figure 2: Mean gross volatility of individual parties, Belarus, 1991-8
Figure 3: Mean net volatility, Belarus, 1991-8
Figure 4: Mean gross volatility, Belarus, 1991-8
Figure 5: Mean block volatility(BV), Belarus, 1991-8: structual influence of the Communists (PCB) and the Nationalists (BPF)
Figure 6: Comparing mean within-block volatility (WBV), Belarus, 1991-8: structural influence of the Communists (PCB) and the Nationalists (BPF)
Appendix: List of political parties and organizations in Belarus, included in opinion polls, 1996

Last Paragraph:
Third, the role of larger parties in stabilizing the political universe is rather equivocal and essentially depends on their ability to compromise. The 'stabilizing' sign is that voters can clearly identify (positively or negatively) the leading political actors and parties, which advances their consolidation. Electoral interchange, which was exposed by the increasing levels of total and block volatility, may be assigned to the existing conflict between parties and the president. The parties' continuous defeat and their poor organizational strategies have resulted in voters' 'quasi switching' and the temporary surrender of their party priorities to the immediate benefit of the state. The people's perception of parties as lacking power endangers the political universe and its perspective for stabilization, by promoting the policies of populism and preventing the simplification of party competition and further system democratization.