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25 February 2024, 08:00

Polls open for Belarusian parliamentary, local elections

MINSK, 25 February (BelTA) - Polls opened across Belarus for the parliamentary and local elections held on a single voting day on 25 February, BelTA has learned.

Belarusians are electing deputies to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the eighth convocation and local councils of deputies of the twenty-ninth convocation. Registration of candidates for deputies ended on 30 January. The campaigning period lasted from 31 January to 24 February. Today, on the main voting day, campaigning is prohibited by law. 

Early voting took place from 20 to 24 February. Voters showed a fairly high turnout. 41.71% of citizens included in the voters’ lists voted early in the parliamentary and local elections. 

Today, polling stations will open at 8.00 in the morning and close at 20.00 in the evening. At polling stations, ballots are issued to voters upon presentation of a passport, identification card, biometric passport, military ID card (for conscripts), service certificate of an employee of a state body (organization), and a driver's license. Voters can also cast their ballots by presenting a pensioner’s certificate, a certificate of a disabled person (with a photo), and a university or college student card. If a voter has made a mistake or spoiled the ballot while filling it out, he/she may apply to the precinct election commission and receive a new ballot paper. However, this right can only be exercised once. 

Taking photos and making videos of the completed ballot is prohibited.

There are 5,411 polling stations in Belarus. On the main page of its official website the Belarusian CEC has launched a service for finding a polling station. The section dedicated to the current election campaign, has the addresses and phone numbers of all territorial, district and precinct election commissions.

According to the CEC, 45,505 national observers are monitoring the election campaign. The Central Election Commission has also accredited 294 international observers. The observation on the single voting day involves the observer missions from the CIS, the SCO, representatives of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, heads and representatives of electoral bodies of foreign states and experts from European and other countries, including Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, and Bulgaria. 

During the preparation of the election campaign, security issues were taken into account, workshops were held with members of election commissions, and close cooperation was established between all electoral structures involved.
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