If presidential elections were held in Belarus today, Alexander Lukashenko would receive only 26.2% of the vote. This is the result of an opinion poll carried out in Minsk during March and April by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS). 1,488 people took part in the poll. According to IISEPS' figures, this is President Lukashenko's lowest ever approval rating. The previous record low of 27% was recorded in September 2002.
According to Rosbalt's correspondent in Minsk, only 17.1% of those polled said they would support a referendum to alter the Belarussian Constitution to allow Lukashenko to run for office for a third time. The current constitution limits presidents to two terms in office. 47% of those polled said they would vote against the proposal, and 27.5% were undecided. A further 5.9% said they would refuse to take part in such a referendum.
At a press conference devoted to the poll's results, IISEPS director Oleg Manaev said that Lukashenko is losing the support of voters regardless of social factors such as sex, income and religion, which have traditionally divided the Belarussian electorate into supporters and opponents of Lukashenko. 'Today, the majority of voters, whether male or female, rich or poor, whether they live in Minsk or other towns, in the east or the west, and whether they are Orthodox or Catholic, would vote for another candidate,' says Manaev. 'This means that the current political course has disillusioned everyone.'
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