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Opinions & Interviews

15 Dec 2017

Open local elections with wide range of candidates encouraged in Belarus

Open local elections with wide range of candidates encouraged in Belarus

GRODNO, 15 December (BelTA) – It is important that the forthcoming elections are held with the utmost openness and provide voters with a wide range of candidates, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission Lidia Yermoshina told the media ahead of the seminar with heads and organizers of the local election campaign in Grodno, BelTA has learned.

The CEC head said it is important that voters be given a wide range of choices. Their interest in the elections as well as the turnout depend on this.

“If we are interested in high turnout, if we want to promote international election standards through our positive law enforcement practices, if we want to have a good rehearsal prior to the main election campaigns, we must ensure maximum choice and openness during these elections. It is important that we have the full understanding with the local authorities with regards to how the democratic processes should be implemented,” Lidia Yermoshina noted. She stressed that the Central Election Commission has received almost no complaints: there was just one inquiry from Brest Oblast regarding the establishment of the election commission.

According to Lidia Yermoshina, today, in the early stages of the election campaign, it is already clear that there will be new faces in politics. A lot of groups who declare themselves as unaffiliated has been registered. “These are totally new people. They are not representatives of political parties but rather of the civil society. Today we do not receive complaints that are not connected with elections. A new generation has grown up over this time. Earlier there were cases when people addressed us with requests to help, for example, get the roof repaired. Today these are electoral matters only,” Lidia Yermoshina noted.

Training seminars for heads and organizers of the election campaign are held in all regions of the country. “It is not just lectures. Here people ask many questions, discussions are active. This is a bilateral exchange between me and election commissions,” Lidia Yermoshina said. Soon similar seminars will be held in Mogilev Oblast and the Gomel Oblast.

As it was reported, the elections to the local councils of deputies in Belarus will be held on 18 February 2018. Nomination of candidates to deputies will last from 10 December to 8 January. The election campaigning period will run until 18 February, inclusively. A citizen of Belarus, over 18 years old, with no criminal record and living within the corresponding administrative unit can run for a seat in the local council of deputies. Russian citizens who permanently live in Belarus also have the right to take part in the elections.

 

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