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Belarus parliament elections

10 Aug 2016

Election programs of Belarusian candidates sent to mass media

MINSK, 10 August (BelTA) - Candidates standing in the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus of the sixth convocation have started to send their election programs to mass media for publication, reads the website of Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC), BelTA has learned.

The first program came to the editorial office of the Respublika newspaper from one of the registered candidates on 9 August. The information on other candidates and their programs sent to local or central print media outlets (depending on the district where they have been nominated) will also be posted on the website of the Central Election Commission.

Belarus’ CEC released a mass media guide for candidates and their programs. This is a novel concept of this year’s election campaign. The CEC website has a special section with the information on every program sent to newspapers. This is done to avoid double publication: each editorial office who has received an election program can visit the website and see whether the program has been sent to other editions. Accordingly, if a candidate has already exercised his/her right to free-of-charge publication, he/she will be denied.

The registration of candidates by district election commissions will be running by 11 August inclusively. After the registration the candidates have the right to start campaigning with the help of their proxies (there can be up to 15 proxies).

There are different options of conducting a pre-election campaign: meeting with voters at rallies, addressing voters in print media, television or radio, and by publishing their election programs. They can also apply to the elections commissions with a request to designate venues for meetings with voters.

A candidate is free to determine the form, type and content of his campaign while respecting the laws on elections, mass events and mass media.

For example, election programs shall be published in the order they are sent to editorial offices. The program shall not exceed two typewritten pages (no more than 4,000 characters). The text of the election program signed by the candidate must be provided to an editorial office in hard copy and in electronic form not later than 21 August.

In addition, the candidate is entitled to one 5-minute free-of-charge appearance on TV, one 5-minute free-of-charge appearance on radio and to participate in televised debates. Election commissions shall draw lots to determine the date and time slots of the appearance of the candidates on state-run television and radio.

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