Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Lukashenka approves proposals for improving electoral process

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

Alyaksandr Lukashenka approved all of the central election commission's proposals for improving the electoral process that are based on some of the recommendations made by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights following Belarus' 2015 presidential election, Mikalay Lazavik, the commission's secretary, told BelaPAN.

He was commenting on the results of Mr. Lukashenka's meeting with top election officials and government officials on Wednesday.

None of our proposals was rejected, he said, adding that the proposals had been presented by Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the commission.

The central election commission has repeatedly said that the implementation of some of the recommendations would require making changes to electoral regulations, which authorities avoid doing in an election year, said Mr. Lazavik. At the same time, we are ready, by improving the practice of applying laws, to implement the proposals that do not concern the constitution and do not require changes to the Electoral Code, he noted.

According to Mr. Lazavik, the central election commission will tell local authorities to discuss people nominated for territorial, district and precinct election commissions in greater detail. It is desirable that such discussions should be attended by the nominees and representatives of the organizations that have nominated them, he said.

Another proposal approved by Mr. Lukashenka seeks to ensure that observers have an unobstructed view of the desk on which votes are counted, said Mr. Lazavik. Observers should be looking not at the backs of members of [precinct] commissions but at how ballots are sorted and counted, he said.

In another novelty, the central election commission will recommend that local executive committees make public rulings delivered by courts on appeals against decisions by election authorities, said the official.

In addition, he said, observers at each polling station will be given access to the list of all voters registered in the precinct and the list of voters who have cast their ballots.