Belarusian parliamentary election, 2008

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The Belarusian parliamentary election, 2008 was held in Belarus on 28 September 2008.[1] The 110 seats in the House of Representatives were at stake.[2]

Lidia Yermoshina, the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, announced on 29 August that 276 candidates were registered for the election; 365 people initially sought to run, but five withdrew and candidate registration for 84 others was rejected.[2] Just prior to the election, the number of the registered candidates was reduced to 263;[3] 82 of the candidates were members of political parties, the others were non-partisans loyal to the government. They included chief executives of local authorities and medical institutions, and top managers of large enterprises.[4] The election was attempted to be monitored by 925 international and more than 17,000 local observers,[5] including an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission consisting of some 450 members from 43 countries.[6] Belarusian citizens abroad were able to cast their votes at 40 polling stations located in 31 countries.[7] Advance voting occurred on September 23 through September 26 and was characterized by active participation: more than 26% of registered voters cast their ballots.[8] Voter turnout was reported to be 76.7%.[9]

According to the OSCE, the elections were undemocratic and the work of international observers was seriously hindered as the observers were refused access to the facilities where the votes were counted.[10] But according to a CIS election observation mission, the elections in Belarus conformed to international standards.[11]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/-
Communist Party of Belarus 229,986 4.3 6 –2
Agrarian Party of Belarus 32,230 0.6 1 –2
All other parties 458,278 8.5 0 -1
Independents 4,050,264 75.2 103 +5
Against all 499,890 9.3
Invalid/blank votes 113,999 2.1
Total 5,384,647 100 110 0
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

According to the official results the oppositional parties failed to gain any of the 110 available seats, all of which were given to parties and non-partisan candidates loyal to president Alexander Lukashenko. The Central Election Commission declared this to be due to the overwhelming popular fear of mass demonstrations and of the "radical political changes" demanded by the opposition. This declaration was met with immediate anti-governmental demonstrations in the centre of Minsk protesting against electoral fraud. President Lukashenko commented that the opposition in Belarus is financed by foreign countries and is not needed.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "282 contenders registered for Belarus’ parliamentary elections". National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-10-12. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "276 candidates for House of Representatives registered in Belarus". National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-10-12. [dead link]
  3. ^ В белорусский парламент баллотируется 263 кандидата (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  4. ^ "Belarusian opposition wins no seat in parliamentary poll". People's Daily. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  5. ^ "925 международных и более 17 000 национальных наблюдателей будут контролировать ход выборов в Белоруссии" (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  6. ^ "OSCE election observers to present findings at press conference in Minsk on Monday". Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  7. ^ За пределами Белоруссии образованы 40 участков для голосования на парламентских выборах (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  8. ^ ЦИК Белоруссии: Более 26% избирателей проголосовали досрочно (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  9. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p260 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  10. ^ "OSZE-Beobachter kritisieren Ablauf der Parlamentswahl" (in German). Der Spiegel. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  11. ^ "CIS observers: Belarus’ elections meet international standards". National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-10-12. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Opposition gewinnt keinen einzigen Sitz - Proteste in Weißrussland" (in German). Der Spiegel. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 

External links[edit]