Parliamentary elections 2019: Report on the nomination and registration of candidates
Observation of the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus is carried out by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center “Viasna” in the framework of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”.
- the nomination and registration of candidates was nor marked by any significant differences as compared to the previous parliamentary elections;
- almost all the nomination groups have been registered. 14 applications were rejected, which amounts to 2.7% of the total number of registration bids (more than two times less than during the elections in 2016);
- local authorities determined comfortable and favorable locations for signature-collection pickets. The list of places prohibited for signature collecting has not changed compared to the previous elections, while in some districts the lists were reduced;
- the collection of signatures was held in a calm atmosphere, and the activities of the nomination groups were not subject to major interference from the authorities;
- as during the previous elections, there were cases of using administrative resources in favor of pro-government candidates in their signature-collecting events. This is facilitated by the absence of the ban on collecting signatures on the territories of enterprises and institutions (in particular, education and healthcare facilities);
- 703 applicants for the deputy mandate had been nominated, which exceeds the amount of nominations during the last elections. There is a tendency of an increased number of nominees among current deputies and representatives of local authorities. Despite the overall larger number of nominated candidates, the proportion of opposition representatives has decreased. The number of women nominated as candidates increased from 23% of the total amount in 2016 to 25% in 2019; among registered candidates — from 25% to 27%;
- according to the CEC, 560 candidates were registered, which is 81% of the total number of nominated applicants. 357 registered candidates had been nominated by political parties, which is 84% of the total number of nominated persons (424), or 64% of the total number of registered candidates. The percentage of refusals to register representatives nominated by the opposition parties is higher than that of the pro-government party nominees (22.3% of refusals to register nominees from the opposition political parties against 10% from the pro-government parties);
- against the background of the current opaque signature verification procedure, of particular concern is the large number of refusals to register opposition candidates nominated through collecting signatures. An analysis of some refusals indicates a possible abuse on the part of the election commissions during the document verification procedures, which could be aimed at preventing the well-known opposition leaders from continuing to run in the elections.