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Opinions & Interviews

7 Dec 2017

Increased activity of political parties in early stages of local elections in Belarus

Increased activity of political parties in early stages of local elections in Belarus

MINSK, 7 December (BelTA) - The political parties showed an increased activity in the early stages of the elections to the local councils of deputies, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission Lidia Yermoshina said in a video posted on the website of the Central Election Commission, BelTA has learned.

According to Lidia Yermoshina, 4 December marked the completion of an important phase of the current campaign, namely the establishment of the constituency election commissions for the election to the oblast local councils of deputies and nine district commissions for the elections to the Minsk city council of deputies. “These bodies will work directly with candidates and they are already accepting applications for registration of initiative groups. Therefore, those potential candidates who wish to get nominated through the collection of signatures may apply for registration of their initiative groups,” she noted.

The application should contain a list of the members of the initiative group. The minimum number is three persons, the maximum one is ten. Members of the group may not reside in the territory of the constituency where the signatures are collected. The most important thing is that voters who will put these signatures should reside in the district where the candidate is being nominated.

Lidia Yermoshina also talked about the people who made part of the constituency and Minsk district election commissions. “The number of those nominated to these positions by public associations and political parties has increased. Thus, the number of party nominees among the members of district, district election commissions rose by 2%. The number of nominees from public associations was up by 8%. Yet, the number of those who were nominated by labor collectives or through the collection of signatures has reduced,” she said.

The CEC chairperson drew attention to the activity of some parties. Representatives of the parties that adhere to the pro-state policy and also the parties which consider themselves opposition have made part of the election commissions,” Lidia Yermoshina said. For instance, the number of representatives of A Just World Party in constituency commissions has increased almost 3 times in comparison with the previous local elections. The number of representatives of the Belarusian Popular Front Party has almost doubled. The Republican Party of Labor and Justice has also increased the number of its representatives almost two times. The Belarusian Social Democratic Party has considerably strengthened its positions as well. “This proves we have an active civil society,” the CEC head said.

The most active public associations are the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, Belaya Rus and the Belarusian Union of Women.

“We can see that the representatives of the civil society who wish to work at these elections are taking an active part in the current election campaign and, hence, will influence the electoral process,” Lidia Yermoshina said.

Elections to the local councils of deputies in Belarus are scheduled for 18 February 2018. Nomination of candidates to deputies will be running from 10 December to 8 January. The registration will be followed by the election campaign which will run until 18 February, inclusively.

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