Authorities are not going to issue money for agitation leaflets no more, NGOs won't be given the right to nominate candidates for Parliament
Aliaksandr Lukashenka has held a
council on the amendment of the electoral legislation.
It's quite strange that this topic is considered now. Maybe, it could be considered as a part of the new list of promises and proposals prepared by the authorities for the West. However, the proposed amendments are of predominantly restrictive nature.
Interestingly enough, opinions on the electoral system were voiced not only by Lukashenka and the head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna, but also by the Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei, the head of the Presidential Administration Andrei Kabiakou, the speaker of the Chamber of Representatives Uladzimir Andreichanka, the state secretary of the Security Soviet Leanid Maltsau and even the head of the Minsk Region Executive Committee Barys Batura.
"We don't aim at changing something. We are discussing the development of the legislation. We will consider the proposals and will accept them if they suit us, or reject them if they are unsuitable," said Lukashenka.
The first interesting circumstance is that the national NGOs will not be given the right to nominate candidates on par with political parties. If such right was given to them – the Belarusian Language Society, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the Union of Poles in Belarus and the like would receive the right to nominate candidates for the Parliament and other elective bodies. At the same time, this opportunity could be used by "Belaya Rus" and other pro-governmental organizations.
Though Yarmoshyna said that "opponents of the authorities are satisfied with this decision," but her words should be understood vice-versa.
The proposal on holding parliamentary elections in one voting and election of MPs by the simple majority of votes was supported. In fact, during Lukashenka's presidency the second voting was not practiced.
Yarmoshyna also proposed to prohibit the opposition to agitate for election boycott. In 2012 this technique was used by the UCP and BPF. The campaign seems to be successful enough to disturb the high-rank officials.
Another supported proposal was to make the candidates pay for the agitation leaflets instead of spending the budget finances on it.
The officials decided to return to the question of elections in May.