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22 Jan 2018

Possible changes in Belarusian election laws following OSCE recommendations announced

MINSK, 22 January (BelTA) – Belarusian election laws may be amended taking into account recommendations of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, BelTA learned from Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Lidia Yermoshina.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative for Eastern Europe, head of the Swedish parliament delegation to the OSCE PA Kent Harstedt visited the Belarusian election organization agency on 22 January. Lidia Yermoshina explained: “Naturally, he was primarily interested in possible amendments to the election legislation on the basis of OSCE recommendations. But we are not ready yet to divulge the information because the CEC cannot initiate lawmaking. The head of state is now looking into our proposals concerning the OSCE recommendations. We don’t know the extent of the instructions we may get after the proposals to change the laws are considered and what those instructions will be.”

She noted that making the amendments is technically possible taking into account the fact that election campaigns will, from all appearances, take place in Belarus in 2019 and 2020. “Changing the legislation half a year or a year ahead of an election campaign is recommended. One year and a half if we talk about rescheduling an election to an earlier date. No instructions to that effect have been given so far. But I am convinced that the lack of instructions does not signify a refusal to make the amendments. The situation is being evaluated. The head of state is thinking about a proper strategy,” concluded Lidia Yermoshina.


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