The central election commission does not rule out that the nest presidential election may be held in the fall of 2010, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the commission, said in an interview with BelaPAN on Monday.
Under regulations, the date of a presidential election shall be set no later than five months before it and the election shall be held on Sunday no later than two months before the term of office of the incumbent president expires.
"It would certainly be more convenient to hold the election before the New Year," Ms. Yarmoshyna said. "There would be a different sentiment among the public."
However, she stressed that nobody had asked her opinion about the possible date of the election. "Setting a date for the election is a political matter," she said. "But the central election commission has to take a practical approach to the conduct of elections. I would not like to get down to practical work as early as September, but I would understand if the election were set for this fall."
Ms. Yarmoshyna also noted that it is the prerogative of the parliament to set a date for a presidential election. If an extraordinary parliamentary session is not called, the parliament will not be able to set an election date earlier than October, as the National Assembly is to convene for the fall session on October 2.
Analysts believe that it would be advantageous for Alyaksandr Lukashenka to have the next presidential election held this fall, as an early election would spoil his political opponents’ game. In addition, the economic situation may deteriorate in early 2011, which would affect the incumbent’s ratings.
In 2006, the government brought forward a presidential election from the summer to March. That came as a surprise to opposition candidates, who later said that they had not had enough time for their campaign.