Single voting day expected to streamline political processes in Belarus

13:49, 3 September

There are plans to introduce a single voting day for elections to the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament and to municipal councils of deputies, BelTA learned from Chairman of the State Building, Local Self-Government and Regulations Committee of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Valentin Semenyako on 3 September.

A session of the special commission in charge of preparing the bill on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus took place in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly on 3 September. Participants of the session reviewed progress in preparations for the second reading of the bill. The bill was given the first reading on 25 June. “Since then we've discussed the bill in permanent commissions, with all the interested ministries and government agencies. The bill was also forwarded for consideration of the head of state. We've received approvals from all the interested parties of the state process,” Valentin Semenyako said. 

The single voting day for elections to the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament and to municipal councils of deputies is one of the new norms the bill intends to introduce. The bill provides for incorporating this norm into the Constitution. Apart from that, it provides for extending the authority of municipal councils of deputies in order to synchronize the tenures of the lower chamber of the parliament and the municipal councils of deputies and start applying the law in practice soon. Thus, the 28th convocation municipal councils of deputies are supposed to stay in office until those, who are elected on the single voting day, start working.

Valentin Semenyako explained: “It is an international practice that has a number of advantages. There are economic benefits because elections are a costly process from the point of view of finance and organization. Apart from that, elections distract government agencies, the population, political parties, and public associations from other tasks of national importance. The introduction of the single voting day will allow streamlining political processes in the country, consolidating all the political forces for participation in the election process. A political party, a public association, a movement will be able to specify its demands as a package and realize them at all levels of the representative authority.”

The MP pointed out that the bill had been discussed with voters and an absolute majority of them is in favor of the changes. “Apart from that, if we analyze the proposals submitted in the course of preparing Constitutional amendments, then this norm was one of the most popular ones. It was mentioned during dialogue platforms, during meetings with worker collectives,” Valentin Semenyako said.

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