Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Statement of the Presidium of the UDF on the Results of the Formation of Election Commissions

March 11 the formation of election commissions for election of deputies to local councils was completed in Belarus. Political parties and entities that are in the coalition of the United Democratic Forces nominated 912 representatives into divisional election commissions. But in the end only 100 people, which is 0,15% of the total number of members of election commissions, were included in them.

At the same time, the political parties supporting the government such as the Belarusian Social and Sports Party, the Agrarian Party, the Communist Party of Belarus, and the Republican Party of Labour and Justice have got 1,333 seats in election commissions.

In a percentage ratio, representation of democratic parties in divisional election commissions is significantly lower than in district ones (0.5%). This is explained by the fact that the actual counting of votes cast for candidates is done at polling stations.

The Presidium of the UDF states that the formation of election commissions was held in secret from the public and political parties. Representatives of democratic parties were often not only not invited to sessions of executive committees which dealt with issues related to the formation of electoral commissions, but also deliberately disoriented by representatives of executive authorities as to the venue and time of sessions.

In many cases, representatives of the UDF were denied the right to be included in commissions for far-fetched reasons like, for example, because of lack of experience. Former members of parliament and local councils, doctors and candidates of science, and qualified lawyers were not included in commissions. At the same time, very often 18-20-year-old members of the “public-state” Belarusian Republican Youth Union and the republican public association “Belaya Rus” easily became members of election commissions.

The UDF Presidium notes that the authorities continue a campaign of pressure on the participants in the elections from the opposition, as well as on their relatives. Such facts were recorded in Mahilyou, Babrujsk, Hrodna, Astravects, Krupki, Vorsha, Slonim, and Baranavichy.

State-controlled media cover the activities of opposition parties in a biased way and a solely negative light. At the same time, regional state-run newspapers close their eyes to numerous violations of electoral laws committed by local authorities.

Thus, we can state that the formation of election commissions was not transparent, not democratic, and not fair. This may indicate that the authorities are planning to rig the elections.

16 February 2010 the Presidium of the UDF formulated the criteria on which the whole election campaign will be evaluated:

- Inclusion of all nominated members of opposition parties in election commissions;

- Registration of all candidates from opposition political parties;

- Freedom of campaigning;

- Possibility of real control by representatives of the democratic forces over counting of votes.

The UDF will continue an ongoing monitoring of implementation of these minimal conditions by the authorities, and in accordance with their actions will change their tactics within the campaign of local elections.

Minsk, March 12