The Central Election Commission (CEC) has completed the registration of initiative groups to nominate candidates to the post of the President of Belarus. Out of 55 applicants, 15 initiative groups of potential candidates were registered.
During the CEC meeting on 20 May, members of the commission had practically no questions to potential candidates.
The CEC has registered the initiative groups of ex-banker Viktor Babariko, ex-head of the HTP Valery Tsepkalo, chairperson of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada (BSDG) Sergey Cherechnya, co-chairperson of the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) party Olga Kovalkova, and head of the “For Freedom Movement” Yury Gubarevich.
Also, among the registered were chairman of the United Civil Party (UNCP) Nikolai Kozlov, ex-deputy Anna Kanopatskaya, co-chairman of the “Govori Pravdu” asossiation Andrei Dmitriyev, wife of Gomel blogger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, makeup and tattoo artist, musician Alexander Tabolich.
Businessman, member of the Communist Party of Belarus Andrei Ivanov, artisan Mikhail Volynets, retiree Valery Perevoshchikov, blogger Pavel Spirin, social worker Oleg Neveikov, temporarily unemployed Alexander Skrebets, businessman Vladimir Provalsky, temporarily unemployed Andrei Mozheiko were denied registration.
Speaking to the commission, “Govori Pravdu” co-chair Andrei Dmitriev recalled that he has twice been the head of the presidential candidate’s headquarters and knows from experience that collecting 100,000 signatures for nominating a candidate is quite difficult.
“100 thousand signatures is disproportionate taking into account how many people have the right to vote. I will make a proposal to reduce the number of signatures to 1% of voters. This will benefit political life in the country.
In addition, during the pandemic, we see that people keep their distance, so they won’t be able to fully observe these elections, I propose putting cameras at the polling stations,” said Dmitriev.
“My position about reduction to 1% is the same, you should understand that 100 thousand signatures is a constitutional norm, it can only be changed by referendum. I think that after the elections, politicians will somehow return to this,” Lidia Yermoshina replied.
Earlier, the CEC registered President Aleksandr Lukashenko, retiree Vladimir Nepomniashchikh, deputy Oleg Gaidukevich, farmer Yury Gantsevich, enterpreneur Natalia Kisel. About 30 “protest candidates” of Nikolay Statkevich were not registered.
Thus, 15 people will collect 100 thousand signatures to become a presidential candidate. They will start collectig on 21 May and finish on 19 June. Recall that presidential election in Belarus will start on 9 August. Early voting is scheduled for 4-8 August.