Updated at 11:56,07-12-2016

No debates between candidates in most districts

There will be no television and radio debates between parliamentary candidates in most of the 110 electoral districts, Mikalay Lazavik, secretary of the central election commission, told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.

"For some reason, the offer to participate in debates was not met enthusiastically by parliamentary candidates," he said.

Mr. Lazavik noted that there were districts with one candidate wishing to participate in debates, but there should be at least two candidates for a debate to be held. According to him, in the Homyel region, for instance, debates will be held in only two or three electoral districts.

It is the first time that television and radio debates between parliamentary candidates have been allowed in Belarus. However, the central election commission has directed that debates should not be broadcast live, and that a candidate should speak for no more than five minutes during a debate.