Parliamentary elections have taken place

Lidia Yermoshina describes how Belarus voted in the parliamentary elections
At the press conference that began at 00.40, the Chair of the Central Election Commission of Belarus, Lidia Yermoshina, announced the results of the election campaign. According to preliminary data, the voter turnout in the elections of deputies to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, was 74.3 percent.

The Brest Region registered 77.5 percent of voters while 79.9 voted in the Vitebsk Region. 75.1 percent of voters came to the polls in the Gomel Region and 76.2 percent did the same in Grodno. The voter turnout in the Minsk Region was 75.3 percent while that in Mogilev Region was 80.9. 61.1 percent of Minsk residents voted in the capital, though Ms. Yermoshina explained that, in line with the revised data, this figure was increased by one percent. The polling stations outside Belarusian borders saw a voter turnover of 66 percent.

According to Ms. Yermoshina, this year’s elections aroused much more interest among voters than four years ago. “This time, the elections stirred much more interest. The campaign was more active. Initially there were some alarming trends, voters were better informed about the elections in the Russian Federation on September 18th than about the elections in Belarus on September 11th. However, this was only during the first stage, at the beginning of the period of nomination of candidates,” noted the Chair of CEC.

She believes that this situation was reversed foremost by the state media, as well as Internet resources that primarily provide information to young people. “Moreover, the candidates were active, at least in Minsk. All this led to voters showing interest towards the elections and visiting polling stations,” she believes. Ms. Yermoshina expressed the opinion that the current election campaign was tolerant. “I liked that our local authorities became more open and stopped fearing to offer candidates maximum opportunities for conducting pre-election campaigning,” she admitted.

She noted that this election campaign lacked candidates for deputies who would conduct it at a high level of election technologies. “We still have many people who don’t meet the highest status of a candidate. Belarus has a simple way of promoting candidates that often deceives people, who think that it’s easy to become a deputy,” notes the CEC Chair, adding that this reduces the authority of the election campaign.

The Chair of the Central Election Commission expressed the hope that Belarus, following the example of neighbouring states, will go along the path of proportional representation or a mixed election system. This will enable the country to use the top members of party lists, candidates worthy of captivating the voters and conducting debates and pre-election campaigning at a high level.
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