Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Election authorities register 521 parliamentary candidates

Syarhey KARAKEVICH, Naviny.by

As many as 521 people were registered as candidates in the upcoming elections for the 110-seat House of Representatives, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the central election commission, told BelaPAN on Friday, one day after the candidate registration stage ended.

A total of 630 people applied for the status of candidate. Ninety-three of them were denied access to the ballot and 16 more withdrew their applications, said Ms. Yarmoshyna.

As many as 332 candidates, or 63.7 percent of the total number, are members of political parties.

The candidates include five members of the Belarusian Party of the Greens, 38 members of the Spravedlivy Mir (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left, 16 members of the Belarusian Patriotic Patry, 27 members of the Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party, 45 members of the Communist Party of Belarus, 77 members of the Liberal Democratic Party, 57 members of the United Civic Party, 49 members of the Belarusian Popular Front, and 18 members of the Republican Party of Labor and Justice.

There are 129 women and 51 people under the age of 31 among the candidates. The candidates include 28 current members of the House of Representatives and 43 current members of local soviets (elected councils).

Ms. Yarmoshyna said that election authorities had taken a "more liberal" approach to candidate registration than in the previous parliamentary elections. The number of registration denials fell by 10 percent compared with the 2012 elections, she said.

There are no electoral districts where only one candidate is on the ballot, said the official.
Each candidate will be given the opportunity to publish his/her election platform in a national state newspaper and in local newspapers.

Candidates will be allowed to appear on television and radio once to address voters. Such pre-recorded speeches will be broadcast on television between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on radio between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. between August 15 and September 2.

Debates may also be broadcast on TV, provided that at least two candidates running in one district express a wish to take part. Each candidate would be allowed to speak for no more than five minutes during a debate and the moderator would also be given five minutes for speaking.