Everything you need to know about the presidential election in Belarus
An event of national importance is being held in our country, about which all Belarusians already know: the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus in 2020. In this article, we will describe to you all the subtleties and clarify the ambiguities regarding the election procedure in our country.
Requirements for Presidential Candidates
A citizen of the Republic of Belarus by birth who is not younger than 35 years old, who has the right to vote and has been resident in the Republic of Belarus for at least ten years immediately before the election, can be elected as the President of the Republic of Belarus.
A deputy of the House of Representatives may be a citizen of the Republic of Belarus who has reached 21 years of age and has been permanently resident in the Republic of Belarus.
A citizen of the Republic of Belarus who has reached the age of 18 may be elected as a deputy of the local Council of Deputies.
Presidential Election Dates
According to the basic law of our state, the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus is called by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus no later than five months, and is held on Sunday no later than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the current President.
Nomination of candidates
Candidates for the post of President are nominated by citizens of the Republic of Belarus with at least 100 thousand signatures of voters.
Nomination of candidates for the President of the Republic of Belarus begins 80 days and ends 50 days before the election.
Applying to initiative groups
The initiative group should include at least 100 people. The CEC is considering its registration within five days from the date of receipt of the documents.
A registered group will be able to collect signatures in support of the nomination of its candidate from May, 21 to June, 19. Taking the epidemiological situation into account, candidates and voters should be wearing medical masks and gloves.
Initiative groups collect voter signatures.
Signature sheets with the signatures of voters collected in support of the nomination of candidates for President, at the end of the collection of signatures are handed over to the district, city, districts in the cities of the commission.
The named commissions verify the accuracy of the collected signatures, draw up protocols about this and transmit them to the regional and Minsk city commission. Regional, as well as Minsk city commissions summarize the collection of signatures in the region, the city of Minsk and send minutes of this to the Central Commission.
Registration of candidates for the President of the Republic of Belarus is carried out by the Central Commission, and candidates for deputies - by the relevant district, territorial election commission.
Registration of candidates for the President of the Republic of Belarus begins 35 days and ends 25 days before the election, and candidates for deputies begin 40 days and end 30 days before the election.
In some cases, the term for registration of candidates for the President of the Republic of Belarus, for deputies of the House of Representatives by a reasoned decision of the Central Commission may be extended, but no more than by five days, and the term for registration of candidates for deputies of local Councils of Deputies with the appropriate district, territorial or higher election commission for the same period.
Election campaigning of presidential candidates may be carried out after they are registered by the Central Commission at meetings, rallies, in the media and at meetings with voters. Campaigning is prohibited on Election Day.
To hold meetings with voters, local executive and administrative bodies, in agreement with the election commissions, determine and provide premises for the Presidential candidates free of charge.
Presidential candidates, as well as their proxies, hold mass events (outdoor meetings, rallies, pickets) for campaigning in places determined by local executive and administrative bodies in coordination with election commissions. Presidential candidates have the right to produce propaganda printed materials (posters, leaflets and other materials) at the expense of their own election funds. The Central Commission produces common posters with biographical data on presidential candidates, as well as information materials about them for distribution to voters.
A voter who is not able to stay at his place of residence on election day shall be entitled to fill out a ballot in the precinct commission premises not earlier than five days before the election and drop it into a sealed separate ballot box for voters who will be absent on the day of the election at their place of residence. Official confirmation of the reasons for the voter's inability to come to the polling station on Election Day is not required.
Early voting is carried out from 10 to 14 hours and from 16 to 19 hours in the presence of at least two members of the precinct commission.
The election results are set by the Central Commission on the basis of the protocols of the regional, Minsk City Presidential Elections Commissions.
Who can vote in Belarus?
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have reached 18 have the right to vote.
Citizens recognized by the court as legally incompetent, persons detained by the court in prison do not participate in the elections. Persons for which, in accordance with the procedure established by law, a measure of restraint - detention in custody - are not taking part in the voting.
Since we have a fairly large country, we also have many constituencies and polling stations. In Belarus, there are constituencies in each regional centre, respectively. In addition, there are constituencies in the borders of our country. For more information about a convenient county, as well as a map of the local area follow the link.
Already created polling stations for elections - there are 5767 in total. 910 polling stations were formed in the Brest region, 750 in the Vitebsk region, 997 in the Gomel region, 656 in the Grodno region, 992 in the Minsk region, 731 in the Minsk region, 687 in the Mogilev region.
Areas were also formed in sanatoriums, dispensaries, rest homes, hospitals and other healthcare organizations providing medical care in stationary conditions, 231 sites were formed. 13 sections have been created in military units, and 44 abroad.
The role of the central commission
The Central Election Commission is a state body that organizes, within its powers, the preparation and conduct of the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus, deputies of the House of Representatives, members of the Council of the Republic, deputies of local Councils of Deputies, and republican referenda.
Basic powers of the Central Election Commission:
- monitors the implementation of the electoral legislation of the Republic of Belarus on elections throughout the country and provide explanations on its application;
- determines the procedure for using the media in the election campaign;
- controls the targeted use of funds from the electoral funds of candidates;
- summarizes the election;
- considers complaints about decisions of election commissions, commissions for voting on recalling deputies and makes decisions on them.
Presidential candidates and political parties participating in parliamentary elections delegate their representatives to the Central Election Commission with an advisory vote.
Voting procedure and vote counting
Voting boxes shall be opened by the precinct commission after the announcement of the end of voting by the chairman of the commission. Opening of voting boxes before the end of voting is prohibited. Before opening the ballot boxes, the number of unused ballots is calculated and announced, which are then redeemed, stacked and sealed. The method of redemption of ballots is determined by the precinct commission. On the packages are inscribed the number of the precinct, the number of unused election ballots. Packages are signed by the chairman and secretary of the precinct commission in the presence of commission members.
Opening of voting boxes and counting of votes during the elections are carried out alternately:
- ballots in the ballot box used for early voting shall be counted,
- then - those who were in portable boxes used to vote at the location of voters, referendum participants,
- after that - in the ballot boxes located on election day, referendum in the premises of the polling station. The results of the vote count are announced by the chairman of the commission.
Summing up election results
Based on the authentic protocols of the regional polling stations, the Minsk Central Commission counts the votes and summarizes the election results.
Publication of Results
The announcement of the results of the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus is made public in the media. Presidential elections shall be considered valid if more than half of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus included in the voters list take part in the voting. The president is considered elected if more than half of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus who participated in the vote voted for him.