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1 Feb 2017

Yermoshina: Proposals by CEC working group coherent, in sync with OSCE recommendations

MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – The proposals of the interagency working group at the CEC are coherent and consistent with the OSCE recommendations, Chairperson of Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC) Lidia Yermoshina told BelTA.

The working group held a meeting on 31 January and outlined major areas for improving the electoral process, Lidia Yermoshina said. The group carefully studied the OSCE recommendations and also considered the proposals of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, MP Anna Kanopatskaya and ex-presidential candidate Tatiana Korotkevich.

“The final proposals are coherent and in sync with the OSCE recommendations,” Lidia Yermoshina said. In her words, first of all, they suggest incorporating into the law the CEC recommendations that were used in Belarus during the 2016 parliamentary campaign. These include: to introduce ranked choice voting for election commission members, to allow the observers to monitor the formation of election commissions, to increase the transparency of vote count and to ensure an equal playing field for all the participants in the monitoring process.

There are also suggestions to reform the institute of non-voting election commission members, to extend the period for setting up election funds for parliamentary candidates, and to allow citizens and legal entities to make contributions. Another proposal is to relax the rules regulating the organization of campaign events during a pre-election campaign period.

“In general, we have a lot of proposals, including on technical aspects, regarding election campaign and complaint application procedures. We asked the head of state to convene a meeting. Following the meeting, the CEC may be instructed to develop a corresponding bill on adjusting the electoral legislation,” Lidia Yermoshina said.

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