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521 candidates to run for seats at Belarus parliament — official

August 12, 10:41 UTC+3
An official of the Central Elections Commission says 363 candidates took part in the previous parliamentary elections
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MINSK, August 12. /TASS/. Belarusian local elections commissions have registered 521 candidates for participation in upcoming parliamentary elections, where they will run for 110 seats at the House of Representatives (the lower house) of the National Assembly, head of the country’s Central Elections Commission Lidiya Yermoshina told TASS on Friday.

"We have registered 521 candidates, 93 candidates were rejected and 16 refused from taking part in the elections," she said.

The official said the Commission had registered more candidates than those running for parliament mandates in 2012. At the previous parliamentary elections participated 363 candidates, and registration was refused for 122 candidates, she added. "Judging by the number of candidates registered this year, clearly the quality of presented documents and signatures is higher."

She said representatives of political parties make 52.5% of the registered candidates. She hopes this time, the opposition’s representatives would not "one after another" cancel participation in the election campaign. "Back then, they (opposition) claimed from the very beginning they become candidates to receive free time for using the media," she said. "This time, I have not heard them say anything of the kind, and I hope they will be competing to the end."

While commenting on meetings with observers, representing Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), she said this time "from PACE the goodwill attitude rate was higher."

"As for basic missions - the CIS, OSCE’s ODIHR - they are working," she continued. "What they have seen and what their impressions are - we do not know, they do not inform us."

"OSCE’s ODIHR only said facts will be s[peaking for themselves," she said, explaining all comments will be made on the day following the elections - on September 12.

Agitation in Belarus will last for one month. Candidates will have free time for presenting on television and radio, and will be able to publish their election programs in newspapers. Parliamentary elections in Belarus are due on September 11.

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