Election campaign starts in December

Elections to local Councils of Deputies planned for March 23rd, as approved by President Alexander Lukashenko, meeting Chair of Central Commission for Elections and National Referenda of the Republic of Belarus, Lidia Yermoshina
By Vasily Kharitonov

Not so long ago, the abolition of village councils was debated and rejected, with the view that such councils make decisions on many daily questions of relevance, providing a reliable link between central power and society.

Following local elections in 2015, the presidential election campaign is to begin. In 2016, people will elect Deputies to the House of Representatives. Naturally, the political and social stability of society relies on democratic processes and the state’s strategy of development will be guided by the results. The coming elections are to follow the Government’s newly approved electoral legislation, signed off by the Head of State, which aims to make campaigning more open, competitive and emulative.

The President stresses, “The loss of three years of development would be catastrophic, so we must take elections seriously, preparing with care. It’s desirable that these elections demonstrate true democracy, allowing people to define who will govern them and the state, how the country will develop and in what direction. This is my unshakeable opinion.” He adds that the present head of the Central Election Commission will continue to organise and oversee political campaigns.

Regarding the financing of elections, the President warns that no ‘superfluous money’ exists, but that those invited to work during this period should be adequately paid. “People engaged in election work should be paid appropriately but we shouldn’t keep people away from their primary jobs for too long, rather using Government agencies for the bulk of the work; they should use state money allocated for their operation. Of course, those involved in election work should be paid adequately. If we want quality, we must be ready to pay accordingly,” noted the Head of State.

The date of local Councils of Deputies elections was discussed at a meeting between the President and the Chair of the Central Election Commission. According to Lidia Yermoshina, the term of their powers expires on April 25th and, according to the Constitution, the next elections must take place no later than 30 days before the expiration of this term. Mr. Lukashenko has approved elections being held on March 23rd 2014.

The MT’s reference:
The election campaign to local Councils of Deputies is to begin by December 24th of this year, at the latest, notes the Secretary of the Central Election Commission, Nikolai Lozovik. He tells us, “As soon as the decree is published, the election campaign will begin.” Election committees will soon be formed, with nominations for candidates held alongside propaganda campaigns, voting and summarising.
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