The proposals of CIS and OSCE experts will be considered during work to amend Belarus’ Electoral Code, Mikalay Lazavik, secretary of the central election commission, told the government’s news agency BelTA.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka is expected to exercise his right to initiate bills to bring the amendments before the parliament in the fall, Mr. Lazavik said.
However, before work on the bill of amendments begins, the head of state will hold a conference to identify the main areas of reform, he said.
The central election commission has already submitted its proposals for amending the Electoral Code to Mr. Lukashenka, Mr. Lazavik said.
They will be discussed during the conference together with proposals contained in the final reports of the observation missions of the CIS and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for Belarus' September 18-23 House of Representatives elections, he said.
"Something will be approved and something won’t," Mr. Lazavik said. "After a decision is made, the National Center for Legislation and Legal Studies [of the Presidential Administration] will start devising a bill."
Mr. Lazavik noted that the central election commission would also be involved in that work.
Submitted on December 3, the central election commission’s proposals for "modernizing" Belarus’ electoral regulations drew fire from Belarusian opposition organizations. They questioned, among others, the commission’s proposals that national-level NGOs with a membership of more than 1000 should be granted the right to nominate candidates for the House of Representatives and local soviets, that the practice of providing public funds to candidates for printing their campaign material should be abandoned, and that campaigning for an election boycott should be governed by the Mass Events Law and not the Electoral Code.
Earlier this month, the central election commission dismissed a petition calling for a comprehensive public discussion of its proposed amendments to the Electoral Code.
Opposition organizations have submitted their own
amendment proposals to the central election commission, but they are unlikely to be accepted.