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Early voting in local elections starts in Belarus

March 18, 2014, 12:31 UTC+3 MINSK

About 30 Russians to participate in the elections as candidates

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© ITAR-TASS/BelTA/Viktor Tolochko

MINSK, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Early voting in the elections of deputies to local councils of Belarus was launched on Tuesday. Russian citizens can take part in them both as the electorate and as candidates.

“Deputies to the rural, settlement, city, district, regional councils and to the Minsk City Council will be elected in the voting. More than 22,000 candidates are vying for almost 19,000 deputy mandates,” the Belarusian Central Election Commission (CEC) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The CEC said that under the Belarusian legislation, RF citizens who permanently reside in Belarus can be elected deputies to the local councils. About 30 Russian citizens who have the residence permit are running in the current elections as candidates.

Police personnel have been put on the alert in the period from March 17 to 24 for the maintenance of public order and ensuring public security during the early voting and on the election day, according to a decision of the interior minister, the ministry reported. In particular, the Interior Ministry has organised the operation and response headquarters. Policemen will be working in a round-the-clock regime at polling stations maintaining public order.

The main voting day at the local elections is set for March 23. Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko urged the country’s citizens to come to the polls. “It is very important who will become deputies tomorrow and continue the constructive effort for the benefit of our country. So I appeal to our people requesting them to come to the polls and make their conscious choice,” Lukashenko said.

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