Posted: 18.06.2024 09:06:58

Elections in Belarus will be held in an honest, proper and decent manner

The President of Belarus, Chairman of the Belarusian People’s Congress Aleksandr Lukashenko has received Central Election Commission Chairman Igor Karpenko with a report

Igor Karpenko presents Aleksandr Lukashenko with the certificate of the Chairman of the Belarusian People’s Congress    belta

CEC Chairman Igor Karpenko did not come to the meeting empty-handed. He brought with him the certificate of the Chairman of the Belarusian People’s Congress, which he handed over to the Head of State. That was a truly historic moment. Let us recall that on April 24th this year, at a session of the 7th Belarusian People’s Congress, Aleksandr Lukashenko was elected Chairman of the seventh convocation of the Belarusian People’s Congress by secret ballot.  
The Head of State and the CEC Chairman then spoke about the preparations for the presidential elections. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed, “If we take a retrospective look at the last elections held [Single Voting Day in February 2024] and consider the elections that we need to hold [presidential elections in 2025], Belarus has entered the electoral cycle. It is a difficult time. However, so far, we have passed half the way quite successfully. God grant that it remains like that until the elections.”
The President suggested discussing some organisational issues of the upcoming elections, including inviting international observers and working with voters. “I am ready to discuss these issues as a first approximation. 
We will try to hold the elections in such a way that there is not a weak spot anywhere. Just like in previous years, there is no need for us to put pressure or use administrative resources. We are able to hold these elections honestly and decently,” the Belarusian leader stated. “We must hold these elections properly. The main thing is not to offend people. The elections are for the people, for our state.” 
In this regard, the Head of State mentioned the recently staged ‘elections’ among fugitive opponents, noting the inconsistency of their approaches in assessing the actions of the Belarusian authorities and themselves, “Out of almost 7 million voters, as many as 6,000 people took part in the voting. And yet, they consider themselves to be the elected ones. The ‘parliament’ was elected, and they went to ask for money through towns and villages. Well, that is their problem, there is no need to draw parallels here…” 
As for the work of Belarus’ CEC, the current legislation also prescribes the function of this body for legal education of citizens. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he had got acquainted with the published books for children, which in an accessible form explained the basics of the Constitution and elections. “That is a good idea,” the Belarusian leader appreciated this work.
Igor Karpenko reported that after the Single Voting Day, a kind of error correction work was carried out, with a meeting convened on this topic. “By the next Single Voting Day, certain points will be adjusted. I can say with confidence that we do not need to change the electoral legislation in any way for the upcoming presidential elections. It worked well on the Single Voting Day, we tested it. There were some aspects related to the uniform application of certain norms. These are purely procedural issues that we have already adjusted.” 

Security issues and electoral sovereignty are at the forefront

In an interview with journalists, Central Election Commission Chairman Igor Karpenko revealed in detail what topics were raised during the report to the Head of State.
When will the presidential elections be held?
The presidential elections are to be held no later than July 20th, 2025. According to the legislation, the exact date will be determined by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus. According to Igor Karpenko, the Central Election Commission is ready to conduct a presidential election campaign under the current Electoral Code. 
How many foreign observers will be there? 
One of the questions discussed during the report was the invitation of international observers to the upcoming presidential elections in Belarus. Igor Karpenko shared the details, “We envisage that the number of international observers may be higher than it was on the Single Voting Day, which was attended by 294 international observers. I think that the figure may grow by one and a half to two times.” 
How is the work on legal education of citizens progressing?
The Central Election Commission continues to work on legal education of citizens. This is one of the new functions that is prescribed in Belarus’ Electoral Code and assigned to the Central Election Commission. “We continue to work with the active core that potentially organises elections. On the Single Voting Day, there were more than 66,000 people in all commissions, excluding observers, agitators, activists, and so on,” Igor Karpenko highlighted.     
The CEC, together with local executive authorities, conducts seminars in all regions of the country inviting public organisations and political parties, which, in accordance with the Electoral Code, are entitled to nominate their representatives to become members of election commissions, as well as to act as observers or candidates for elections.  
Why do we need the concept of the digital electoral process?
Igor Karpenko also informed that the CEC had developed the concept of the digital election process, “This does not mean that we will hold the presidential elections in a new electronic format. We look at this very pragmatically and thoroughly. It is important to understand what we need to do and what we do not. The President gave us the go-ahead to discuss this concept and put it on the table for all interested parties in order to see which elements are acceptable today. The concept is aimed at ensuring that we primarily develop our domestic product, so that we have a domestic operator. The issues of security and ensuring electoral sovereignty are at the forefront in this regard.” 

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