25 Nov 2019 10:10

Belarus to elect president on basis of current electoral laws

MINSK. Nov 25 (Interfax) - Law enforcement practices will be improved before the presidential election, yet electoral laws will not be changed, Belarusian Central Elections Commission Chairperson Lidia Yermoshina said in an interview with the television channel ONT.

"An international norm requires that laws must not be changed a year before the election. This is because rules of the game must be stable. Only an improvement of law enforcement practices could be considered," Yermoshina said.

Emphasis was put on voting accessibility for disabled persons before the recent parliamentary election, Yermoshina said. "A task of improving voting conditions through better and more high-tech polling stations will be set. We have also discussed which platforms would be the best for campaigning," she said.

As for the parliamentary election, its organizers say that the campaign saw many conflicts and scandals, Yermoshina said. "They had never dealt with such elections before and did not know what it's like to go to court. Now they are experienced in legal actions, not because they file lawsuits but because lawsuits are filed against them," she said.

"The campaign was especially difficult because certain political forces tried to show the world that everything is very bad here the moment OSCE and Western observers arrived. Please note that all of them are silent now," Yermoshina said.

"Our election commissions and voters felt confused" about certain situations that occurred at polling stations, she said.

"Nobody knew [what to do] because Belarusians feel defenseless against the insolents; this is our national trait - we get confused, and impudent, aggressive people set the tone," Yermoshina said.

The recent election saw a record number of observers banished from polling stations, Yermoshina said. "We had never had so many banished observers before. Seventy persons were banished for breaking the law. It was a warning for the rest, who realized they should be behaving differently, take control of themselves, and remember that they are intelligent persons, after all," she said.

"I can tell that if we had two or three opposition members elected to parliament, believe me, the OSCE's opinion would have been completely different. What the OSCE mentioned in its report is a miniscule number. We had almost 5,800 polling stations, and they reported 25 [violations]. That is 0.5%," she said.

Speaking of the new Belarusian parliament, Yermoshina said, "It will basically be carrying out a predictable government policy, and I do not expect any conflicts or constitutional crises to happen."