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Opinions & Interviews

18 Nov 2016

Head of Belarusian election organization agency regrets lack of prominent politicians

Head of Belarusian election organization agency regrets lack of prominent politicians

MINSK, 18 November (BelTA) – Belarusian political parties are getting more active but prominent politicians are in short supply. Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Lidia Yermoshina voiced the opinion while talking to participants of the start action of the Student League of Young Voters project at premises of the Belarusian State University on 18 November, BelTA has learned.

Participants of the start action asked the head of the Belarusian election organization agency why a certain number of voters choose the None of the Above option during elections. Lidia Yermoshina said she believes that the fact that Belarusian voters choose to cast their votes for None of the Above indicates that genuine, vivid, and creative politicians are in short supply. “The political system should work to address that. Political parties should be primarily the ones to fix it and then we will have no problems with that,” said the official.

In Belarus there are 15 political parties, but as a rule eight parties at most take part in an election campaign. “Although the process is now in motion,” said Lidia Yermoshina. “Political parties are working on it more or less. They are getting better, more active than they were five years ago.”

If Belarus makes the transition to the mixed voting system, the switch may become an additional stimulus for the development of political parties. It may encourage the emergence of a larger number of prominent politicians, added the CEC Chairwoman.

After the meeting Lidia Yermoshina told BelTA that projects like the Student League of Young Voters should be introduced everywhere. It is necessary to start with school students in order to encourage them to participate in voting from early on. The Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM) plays its part in it, however, the BRSM cannot objectively reach all the young Belarusians. Other organizations and labor collectives could join the effort.

The start action of the Student League of Young Voters project took place at premises of the Philosophy and Social Sciences Faculty of the Belarusian State University. The main purpose of the League is to shape the political culture of young Belarusians and improve their electoral activity. As part of the project young voters study legal matters relating to election laws. Meetings and roundtable sessions with members of the parliament are arranged for them as well as events meant to enhance their reach of thought.

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