When the Soviet Union began to collapse in 1991, there were several countries that sought autonomy. One of these countries was Belorussia, commonly called Belarus in the Western world. At the time of the independence of Belarus, it was decided that the next government would take on the form of a presidential republic. Similar to other countries in the region, the Belarus government was structured with a president as the leader of the state, followed by a prime minister. The National Assembly is the Belarus Parliament and is composed of several main political parties. The first president of the new government of Belarus was Stanislav Shushkevich and served a term of four years, from 1991 to 1994. At the next general election, the voters chose Alexander Lukashenko as their next leader. Lukashenko has remained in power from his election in 1994 to the current day. Lukashenko also holds the position of Chairman of the Supreme State, an important post in the government of Belarus. For most of the legislation, bills are passed in the same method of using the parliament with the president holding the power of veto for important new laws. To learn about the government in this country, a person will first need to become familiar with the political parties. For the Belarus Parliament, a member can come from many different possible political orientations. The United Democratic Part is one of the more popular ones and represents a large demographic of the country, ranging from peasants to members of the intelligentsia. Another choice is the Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly, or Hramada, that advocates the emergence of a market economy with the state remaining involved in running several areas of industry and commerce. Other prominent political parties that hold positions in the Belarus government include the Belarusian Peasant Party, the Belarusian Christian Democratic Union, and the Belaya Rus Slavic Council.