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Presidential election 2015 in Belarus

22 Sep 2015

OSCE/ODIHR publishes interim report on election campaign in Belarus

MINSK, 22 September (BelTA) – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has published an interim report on the election campaign in Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The document describes the system of election commissions in Belarus and the process of the presidential election in the country. The report provides detailed information on the Belarusian electoral law. Citizens who are 18 years old by election day, except those imprisoned with criminal convictions, have the right to vote.

According to the ODIHR long-term mission, the CEC registered four candidates, including one woman candidate. One prospective candidate was denied registration after territorial election commissions across the country detected absent or inconsistent information about the voters signing or people collecting the signatures. The matter concerns Viktor Tereshchenko.

Some OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission interlocutors, including former presidential candidates, raised concerns about a lack of equal opportunity for candidates to collect signatures and deemed the signature verification process insufficiently transparent. The document, however, does not provide information proving these facts.

Key campaign themes include the issues of regional security, in particular the events in eastern Ukraine, the country’s economic situation and a prospective opening of a Russian air force base in Belarus. The observers also note that some opposition figures are calling on the electorate to ‘ignore’ the process.

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