by
January 13 – January 19, 2014

The first stage of the 2014 election campaign is over

The situation has not changed
The first stage of the 2014 election campaign is over

Territorial election commissions with a minimum access of opposition representatives have been formed. As for the general population, the beginning of the election campaign was carried out amid Christmas holidays and remained totally unnoticed. A strategy applied by the authorities during the election campaign to local councils is meant to curtail citizen participation in the electoral process.

The first stage of the election campaign demonstrated absolute readiness of representatives of local authorities to participate in elections. Similarly to previous election campaigns, on the ground the stake is placed on representatives of pro-governmental public associations, members of public-sector trade unions and representatives of workers’ associations implicitly dependent on the executives of local enterprises.

A strategy applied by the authorities during the election campaign to local councils is meant to curtail citizen participation in the electoral process. Information about elections is going to be distributed mainly via the Internet, on the governmental sites which enjoy extremely low popularity. Opposition, in turn, has not yet voiced a clear agenda as regards this campaign. In accordance with public statements, the ‘Tell

the Truth’ campaign can be expected to have the most numerous representation among candidates for deputy at the local level.

One more peculiarity revealed by the first stage of the ongoing election campaign – the decline of party activity. Territorial election commissions in the elections of deputies to local councils comprise more than 11 thousand people. Parties put forward 151 candidatures. At this stage of the election campaign the highest level of involvement was shown by the pro-governmental ‘Communist Party of Belarus’ – 74 people or 0.6%, the opposition Belarus left party ‘A Just World’ – 23 people and the pro-governmental ‘Republican Party of Labour and Justice’ – 18 people.

All in all, 1331 territorial election commissions have been established in Belarus.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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