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21 Dec 2017

About 1,500 observers accredited for 2018 local elections in Belarus to date

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – So far, territorial and constituency election commissions have accredited nearly 1,480 observers for elections to local councils of deputies of the 28th convocation, BelTA learned from the website of the Central Election Commission.

According to the latest data published by the Central Election Commission, 150 observers have been accredited through applications to local commissions, 48 from labor collectives, and 49 from political parties (the Communist Party of Belarus, the National Party of Labour and Justice, and the Social Democratic Party of Popular Accord). Most observers (over 1,200) represent public associations. The leaders are the BRSM Youth Union (542), the Belaya Rus public association (237), and the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans (137).

The nomination of candidates to deputies of local councils will last through 8 January 2018. A candidate can be nominated by a labor collective, a political party, and through the collection of signatures. A citizen has the right to get nominated to the local council of each territorial level (regional, district and rural) in one of the constituencies.

Signatures are collected by initiative groups. As many as 17,542 groups have been registered to date. Signatures can be collected through door-to-door canvassing or arranging pickets in the places where it is not prohibited by local authorities. As for nomination from a labor collective, a nominee vying for a seat in an oblast council or the Minsk City Council of Deputies should get support of a labor collective comprising no less than 150 workers.

Another way is to get nominated by a political party if it has regional branches. Thus, the regional structures of the party represented by their governing bodies can nominate candidates in all constituencies set up in the oblast. Minsk-based parties can nominate their representatives in every constituency in the capital.

A potential candidate to the local council should live permanently or work on the territory of the local council he or she would like to represent. If the candidate does not live or work there, he or she should at least be employed in the organization which serves the region. Thus, the would-be MP should be well informed and be able to perform his or her duties properly.

Candidates to the local councils shall be registered by the corresponding territorial or district commission from 9 to 18 January 2018, inclusively. The decision on the registration is taken if all the necessary documents are submitted. A candidate shall receive the relevant certificate in two days’ time. Then, the election campaign will begin to run through 18 February, the main election day. Early voting will be held on 13-17 February. More than 18,000 members of the local councils will be elected.

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