As many as 8.7 percent of all registered voters cast their ballots in the first two days of the early voting stage in Belarus’ local elections, which began on April 20, Mikalay Lazavik, secretary of the central election commission, told BelaPAN on Thursday.
According to Mr. Lazavik, 7.1 percent of voters on the register turned out in the Hrodna region, 7.2 in the Bret region, 7.5 in the city of Minsk, 8.8 in the Minsk region, 9.6 in the Vitsyebsk region, 10.2 in the Mahilyow region and 10.9 in the Homyel region.
Mr. Lazavik earlier predicted that the turnout would be lower in the early voting stage compared with the previous elections for local soviets.
"But my predictions have proved wrong," the election official said. "Perhaps, forecasting is not the central election commission’s business. We need to assess the situation realistically. People in Belarus are disciplined. The older generation tries to exercise its voting right when the weather is nice. Youths also responded to the call of the organizers of the elections. Many young people spend the weekend outside their electoral districts. So, they choose to vote early." The main voting day in the local elections is scheduled for April 25. In the previous local elections held in 2007, 25 percent of all registered voters cast their ballots early, according to the central election commission.