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Organisation : The Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus on Elections and Holding Republican Referenda
Facility : Election Process
Country : Belarus

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Election Process :
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Election Process in the Republic of Belarus :
Voting :
** Candidates in the Republic of Belarus are nominated by political parties and citizens (at conferences of labor collectives or through signature collection).
** Registration of candidates is carried out by election commissions.
** Election commissions consist of representatives of political parties and public associations, and persons nominated by citizens (at conferences of labor collectives or through signature collection).

Candidates’ rights and election campaigning :
** Upon registration candidates have equal rights to speak at pre-election meetings, in the press, on state-run radio and TV.
** A candidate has the right to publish the election agenda in the mass media.
** The agenda of the candidate should not contain war propaganda, appeals to violent change of the constitutional order, infringement of territorial integrity of the Republic of Belarus, social, national, religious and racial enmity, abuses and slander in relation to officials of the country and other candidates.
** Candidates have the right to make election posters, slogans, statements, inscriptions, leaflets, photographic materials.
** Printed campaign materials should be produced on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
** Distribution of anonymous campaign materials is prohibited.
** Campaigning is not allowed on election day.
** Publication of the results of opinion polls is not permitted within five days prior to voting day.
** Foreign citizens have no right to participate in election campaigns.

Voting process in the Republic of Belarus :
** Precinct election commissions notify voters of the time and place of voting not later than 10 days before the elections.
** Polls open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on election day.
** Voters who may not be able to vote on the designated election day can cast their vote not earlier than 5 days before general voting.
** The precinct election commission is obliged to provide a possibility to take part in voting for people who due to health or other good reasons are not able to come to polling stations on the polling day. To this end upon the request of voters the precinct commission authorizes two or more its members to organize voting at the place of residence of these persons.
** Ballot boxes are opened by the precinct election commission after the chairman of the commission has declared that voting is finished. The vote count is conducted by members of the precinct election commission without a break until the results of the voting have been obtained.
** Vote count of the elections in the Republic of Belarus
** The results of the vote count are considered at a session of the precinct commission and entered onto the protocol forms.
** The protocol is immediately submitted to the territorial election commission for presidential elections in Belarus or the district election commission for elections of deputies.
** After that the copy of the protocol is made available for the public.
** The results of elections of deputies are finalized at a meeting of the district election commission.
** During presidential elections territorial election commissions sum up election results in a region (town).
** Given this data the Minsk Oblast and Minsk City Commission for Elections of the President of the Republic of Belarus finalizes the outcomes of elections in the Minsk Oblast and the City of Minsk.
** On the basis of these protocols the Central Commission determines the final outcomes of elections at its meeting within 10 days after the voting is finished.
** Election results can be overturned on appeal to a higher election commission, and hereafter to the court.

The major changes to the electoral legislation are the following :
** political parties and other public associations should be represented in election commissions, while the number of state representatives is limited;
** nomination of candidates is simplified;
** greater opportunities are offered to carry out election campaigns, including debates in e-media;
** candidates are allowed to have their own electoral funds;
** the voter turn-out requirements are eliminated for elections to local councils;
** stricter control is introduced at early voting;
** the rights of observers are extended;
** there are more possibilities to submit an appeal against election results

Major responsibilities of the Central Election Commission :
** to exercise control over the fulfillment of electoral legislation in the Republic of Belarus and explain the application of the legislation;
** to distribute the media air time during the election campaign;
** to control the use of election funds of candidates;
** to sum up the outcome of elections, referenda;
** to study petitions on decisions of the election commissions, commissions on referenda, commissions on holding of voting on recall of deputies and to take decisions on them.

Presidential candidates and political parties taking part in parliamentary elections delegate their representatives to the Central Election Commission with a right of deliberative vote.
** Commissions for the elections of the President of the Republic of Belarus, district, territorial, precinct commissions
** Local election commissions are formed by local executive and representative bodies within 75 to 85 days prior to elections (precinct commissions – within 45 days).
** Members of the commission are nominated by political parties, other public associations, as well as citizens.
** As a rule, at least one third of members of commissions should be made up of representatives of political parties and public associations.
** The number of government employees should not exceed one third of the commissions.
** Citizens nominate their representatives to election commissions at rallies of labor collectives and through collection of signatures.

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