Belarus preparing for 2016 parliamentary elections

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Belarus preparing for 2016 parliamentary elections

Political elections are like sport. Candidates gain points in the form of votes. And the Central Election Commission of Belarus is already preparing to form the "parliamentary autumn standings."  The President convened a meeting on this occasion this week. The meeting participants discussed what deputies it would be desirable to have in the Oval Hall and in the Upper House, and which worthy patriots it would be possible to support. Ovations in the stands of voters are possible (we continue the sports terminology), but one should not allow clashes of "fans". The elections should be held peacefully, without foreign "doping" and without a curtain of secrecy, the President said. Yevgeny Pustovoi has all the details of the meeting.

Lidia Yermoshina, Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus:
We are almost at the start and we only wait for this start signal.

The election to the Belarusian Parliament is the major campaign of the year. The Central Election Commission has a hot time. They are uploading to the website the map with the boundaries of electoral districts. The publishing houses are printing manuals for election commissions. The July 1 redenomination added work to accountants. It is necessary to eliminate any errors in funds allocation. Precision is the basis of any elections and laws.

Lidia Yermoshina, Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus:
It's like spoons and forks for the future consumer, without which it is impossible to eat. I mean these are our tools and instruments. The hardest part of the campaign is, of course, the political background against which the elections will be held. I just hope that our potential candidates, our political parties will not stir up negative sentiment aiming to disrupt the elections, forcing some anti-state activities. Otherwise we are not expecting any problems. The most important thing is the political background.

Andrea Rigoni has recently visited the House of Representatives.

Andrea Rigoni, rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE):
We give some recommendations, some advice. Secondly, we are discussing this with the local authorities. There is one goal - to make all the electoral processes in Europe conform to certain European standards.

The PACE Rapporteur on Belarus has called the upcoming elections a fundamental step for the relations between Belarus and the EU. He added: "Your republic must enter the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly."

Alexander Ivanovsky, Ph.D., Professor, Vice Rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the Belarus President:
The campaign is politically important. It should complete the transition period in the warming of relations between the West and Belarus. The fact is that the West has not removed the sanctions against Belarus; it only suspended them. Therefore, the question of the final lifting of sanctions and the question of the full normalization of relations with the European Union and the United States is linked with the election results.

The western trend is to comply with the formalities and save face in view of the apparent failure of sanctions policy. The treasury of the achievements of the Belarusian Parliament of the outgoing convocation includes dozens of high-profile and important documents from the new edition of the military doctrine to the introduction of the concept "arts patronage". The instruction of the President is to develop criteria by which the state can support the candidate if he needs it.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
No matter what political currents they belong to. It does not matter. The main thing is that these should be honest and decent people. At today's meeting we should develop criteria and benchmarks according to which candidates should move to the highest legislative body. I can clarify. No one will dispute that one of the criteria for the election of the future MPs should be the question of the independence of our state. If someone opposes it, we need to simply declare war on them. One of the criteria is improving of the welfare of our people. If someone conceives some strange shock and radical reforms at the expense of the lives of our people, we must declare war on such candidates. These are the criteria we must work out. And the authorities, and civil society organizations that are currently working with us, should be asked to act along these lines. Again, do not hide it. We must clearly define the criteria by which we will act in this campaign, and determine who of the candidates adheres to these criteria. We must develop these criteria so that people see and understand it.

The institute of continuity with regard to the positive experience is a mechanism that is bound to be effective.

Yuri Shevtsov, political analyst:
As in any activity, you need certain time in order to understand how things are organized. If we take deputies’ work, this is de facto about three months. Psychologists say that two years is needed for this. But it is clear that it's too long for such a dynamic situation. There is no time to lose. So, of course, there has to be continuity as elsewhere, in any organization, in any family, in a country. So, of course, one needs to choose carefully those who will enter the next convocation of the parliament. If a person has justified confidence, worked actively (and in fact their work is to form the legal framework and conditions for operation), if this person did not promise too much, if he or she is a realist and can competently engage in legislative process, then, of course, we can safely vote for this person.

Voting in the election of the 110 deputies of the House of Representatives will last one day. That is, it will be clear almost instantaneously whether the lower house of parliament is formed or not. The election of senators in the Council of the Republic will be held according to the schedules of each of the six regions and the capital. According to the law, the election date can be declared no later than June 10, 2016.