Shortly after that, a referendum was held on 24 November 1996 in which four questions were offered by Lukashenko and three offered by a group of Parliament members.
The questions ranged from social issues (changing independence day to 3 July, abolition of the death penalty) to the national constitution.
According to one version, his father was a peasant from Orsha but another version that's very widespread in Belarusian society said that his father was an unknown gypsy.
At the start of 1998, the Central Bank of Russia suspended trading in the Belarusian ruble, which led to a collapse in the value of the currency.
Lukashenko responded by taking control of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, sacking the entire bank leadership and blaming the West for the free fall of the currency.
Lukashenko's government has also retained much of the country's Soviet-era symbolism, especially related to the victory in the Second World War.
in the settlement of Kopys in the Vitebsk Oblast of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Kuleshov University) in 1975, after 4 years studying there and the Belarusian Agricultural Academy in Horki in 1985.
He served in the Border Guard (frontier troops) from 1975 to 1977, where he was an instructor of the political department of military unit No.
His decrees now had the force of law, and he also acquired near-total control over government spending.
On 25 November, it was announced that 70.5% of voters, of an 84% turnout, had approved the amended constitution.
The US and the EU, however, refused to accept the legitimacy of the referendum.
After between ten and twelve deputies withdrew their signature from the impeachment petition, only about forty deputies of the old parliament were left and the Supreme Soviet was dismissed by Lukashenko.
Lukashenko opposed Western-backed shock therapy during the post-Soviet transition.