Election commissions for the April 25 local elections have granted 16,860 of the 17,003 applications for the registration of nomination groups, Mikalay Lazavik, secretary of the central election commission, told BelaPAN.
Nomination groups, needed to collect ballot-access signatures, were able to apply for registration between February 14 and 18. Decisions on the applications were to be made within five days of their submission.
Twenty-three applications were rejected and 20 withdrawn, Mr. Lazavik said.
A total of 341 nomination groups will be collecting signatures for representatives of political parties, he said. Among them are 121 representatives of the Communist Party of Belarus, 72 representatives of the Belarusian Popular Front, 58 representatives of the United Civic Party, 29 representatives of the Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party, 25 representatives of the Belarusian Agrarian Party, 24 representatives of the "Spravedlivy Mir" (Fair World) Belarusian Party of the Left, three representatives of the Belarusian Party of Greens, three representatives of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada, two representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus, one representative of the Belarusian Patriotic Party and one representative of the Party of Labor and Justice.
"Commissions’ approaches to the registration of nomination groups were very liberal," Mr. Lazavik said. "That was probably because of amendments to the Electoral Code that allow flaws in registration papers to be eliminated before decisions on applications are made."
According to Mr. Lazavik, 1,495 soviets with a total membership of 21,300 are to be formed as a result of the elections.