2019 Belarusian parliamentary election

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2019 Belarusian parliamentary election
Belarus
← 2016 17 November 2019 2023 →

All 110 seats in the House of Representatives
56 seats needed for a majority
Turnout77.31 (Increase 2.63 pp)
Party Leader % Seats ±
CPB Aleksey Sokol 10.62 11 +3
RPTS Vasil Zadnyaprany 6.75 6 +3
LDPB Oleg Gaidukevich 5.36 1 0
BPP Nikolai Ulakhovich 1.43 2 -1
BAP Mikhail Rusy 0.89 1 +1
Independents 60.31 89 -5
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Constituencies in parliamentary elections in Belarus 2019.svg
Results by constituency.
Speaker of the House of Representatives before Speaker of the House of Representatives after
Vladimir Andreichenko
CPB
Vladimir Andreichenko
CPB

Parliamentary elections were held in Belarus on 17 November 2019.[1]

Background[edit]

Parliamentary elections were required to be held no later than 6 September 2020. However, in his annual address to the nation on 19 April 2019, President Alexander Lukashenko announced that they would be held in 2019.[1] Lukashenko suggested Sunday 7 November or October Revolution Day as possible dates,[2] however the election was ultimately scheduled for 17 November 2019.

Electoral system[edit]

The 110 members of the House of Representatives were elected from single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting.[3]

Participating parties[edit]

Party Leader Ideology Stance toward President Lukashenko[citation needed] Number of participating
constituencies
2016 result
Votes (%) Seats
Communist Party of Belarus (CPB) Aleksey Sokol Communism
Marxism–Leninism
Pro-government 54 7.4%
8 / 110
Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus (LDPB) Oleg Gaidukevich Russian-Belarusian unionism
Right-wing populism
Constructive opposition (self-proclaimed)
Pro-government (de facto)
107 4.2%
1 / 110
Republican Party of Labour and Justice (RPTS) Vasil Zadnyaprany Democratic socialism
Social democracy
Pro-government 43 2.9%
3 / 110
United Civic Party (UCP) Mikalaj Kazloŭ Liberal conservatism
Social liberalism
Opposition 56 2.2%
1 / 110
Belarusian Patriotic Party (BPP) Nikolai Ulakhovich Socialism
Social conservatism
Pro-government 16 2.2%
3 / 110
BPF Party (BPF) Ryhor Kastusioŭ Belarusian nationalism
Christian democracy
Opposition 38 1.7%
0 / 110
Belarusian Left Party "A Just World" Sergey Kalyakin Democratic socialism
Communism
Opposition 33 1.4%
0 / 110
Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly) (BSDP) Ihar Barysaŭ Social democracy
Liberal democracy
Opposition 43 1.3%
0 / 110
Belarusian Party "The Greens" (BPZ) Nastassya Darafeyeva Green politics
Eco-socialism
Opposition 7 0.2%
0 / 110
Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly (BSDH) Siarhei Cherachen Social democracy
National democracy
Opposition 20 N/A
Republican Party (RP) Uladzimir Belazor Eurasianism
Economic nationalism
Pro-government 6
Belarusian Agrarian Party (AP) Mikhail Rusy Agrarian socialism
Democratic socialism
Pro-Government 1
Belarusian Social Sporting Party (BSSP) Vladimir Alexandrovich Social democracy
Sports politics
Pro-government 1

Opinion polls[edit]

Date Polling firm KPB LDPB RPTS UCP BPP BPF A Just World BSDP The Greens BSSP BSDH BAP[a] KCP-BPF[a] SDPNS[a] RP Independents/
None
Lead
July–August 2017 Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences 2.6 1.9 2.6 2.2 1.5 0.7 1.5 1.6 2.3 1.7 1.6 1.1 1.1 0.9 0.7 76.0 Tie
11 September 2016 2016 Parliamentary elections 7.4 4.2 2.9 2.2 2.2 1.7 1.4 1.3 0.2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 67.0+9.6 2.0

Campaign[edit]

Most opposition parties decided to contest the election but not all candidates were registered.[4][5] The Conservative Christian Party and the Belarusian Social-Democratic Assembly decided to boycott the elections.

Conduct[edit]

On 13 November, during preliminary voting, an observer in Brest published a video showing alleged ballot stuffing. Lidia Yermoshina, chief of the Central Election Commission of Belarus, denied fraud had taken place and stated that the observer's accreditation should be withdrawn as they were not allowed to film in a room with ballot boxes.[6] On 15 November, the observer's accreditation was withdrawn by the local electoral commission.[7] Another objection by the same observer concerning the number of preliminary votes was accepted.[8]

Students from some universities claimed that they had been forced to participate in preliminary voting, or encouraged to do so by being allowed absences from classes on Saturday and Monday. The universities denied the claims.[9] On 15 November Belarusian State Economic University students openly protested near the campus for similar reasons, citing the recently published video with one of their instructors (curators) demanding people participate in the preliminary voting.[10]

Election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that “fundamental freedoms were disregarded and the integrity of the election process was not adequately safeguarded". A statement from the OSCE team cited concerns including what they described as the exclusion of many opposition candidates, limited opportunity for public campaigning and shortcomings during vote counting. OSCE observer Margaret Cederfeldt said the election had demonstrated "an overall lack of respect for democratic commitments".[11]

Election observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States described the elections as "competitive, open, free [and] transparent", adding that they considered them to be held in line with the country's Constitution and Electoral Code.[12]

Results[edit]

Only 21 of the 110 elected deputies were members of political parties, with all belonging to pro-government parties; the Communist Party of Belarus emerged as the largest party in the House of Representatives with 11 MPs, the Republican Party of Labour and Justice came second with six seats, the Belarusian Patriotic Party won two and the Agrarian Party and Liberal Democratic Party won a seat each.[13]

Unlike in the previous elections in 2016, in which two opposition candidates were elected, the opposition did not win a single seat; the opposition United Civic Party lost its sole seat and the only pro-opposition independent MP failed to be re-elected. All 110 elected representatives were described as "loyal" to President Alexander Lukashenko.[14] For all but one term since 2004, there have been no opposition MPs in the House of Representatives. However, since a 1996 referendum effectively concentrated all governing power in Lukashenko's hands, the House has been dominated by Lukashenko supporters even when opposition MPs have managed to get into the chamber, and the House has done little more than approve Lukashenko's policies.

44 of the 110 elected MPs were women, two were under the age of 30 and thirty were members of the previous parliament.[13]

Belarus House of Representatives 2019.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
Communist Party of Belarus 559,537 10.62 11 +3
Republican Party of Labour and Justice 355,971 6.75 6 +3
Liberal Democratic Party 280,683 5.36 1 0
Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly) 84,790 1.61 0 0
BPF Party 82,403 1.56 0 0
Belarusian Patriotic Party 75,283 1.43 2 –1
United Civic Party 72,192 1.37 0 –1
Belarusian Agrarian Party 46,785 0.89 1 +1
Belarusian Left Party "A Just World" 37,861 0.72 0 0
Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly 23,164 0.44 0 New
Belarusian Green Party 10,592 0.20 0 0
Belarusian Social Sporting Party 7,905 0.15 0 New
Republican Party 7,529 0.14 0 New
Independents 3,178,037 60.31 89 –5
Against all 447,111 8.48
Invalid/blank votes 49,725
Total 5,319,568 100 110 0
Registered voters/turnout 6,880,605 77.31
Source: CEC (party affiliations) Archived 2020-07-22 at the Wayback Machine, CEC (votes) Archived 2020-08-03 at the Wayback Machine

By oblast[edit]

Party Minsk Brest Vitebsk Gomel Grodno Minsk Oblast Mogilev
Communist Party of Belarus 106,669 34,210 40,418 161,392 22,743 111,414 82,691
Liberal Democratic Party 83,042 18,785 23,063 48,239 49,814 41,701 16,039
Republican Party of Labour and Justice 75,525 104,281 13,917 103,572 4,036 42,614 12,026
United Civic Party 15,170 3,869 5,275 15,596 14,229 5,579 12,474
Belarusian Patriotic Party 29,136 41,256 0 0 0 3,430 1,461
BPF Party 8,473 6,573 9,240 5,859 9,506 2,552 40,200
Belarusian Left Party "A Just World" 9,398 9,202 3,610 6,862 5,399 2,886 504
Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Assembly) 23,031 34,677 3,723 2,218 7,901 5,989 7,251
Belarusian Green Party 3,500 0 0 0 2,568 4,524 0
Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly 14,561 909 0 0 1,105 6,336 253
Republican Party 2,719 0 2,146 0 0 2,664 0
Belarusian Agrarian Party 0 0 0 0 0 46,785 0
Belarusian Socialist Sporting Party 7,905 0 0 0 0 0 0
Against all 77,566 73,702 51,239 64,381 56,928 77,468 45,827
Invalid/blank votes 6,182 9,482 7,933 7,870 6,725 10,286 7,429
Total 814,206 778,292 703,631 879,624 594,940 884,916 663,959

International reaction[edit]

In its report following the elections, the OSCE stated that the legal framework in Belarus "does not adequately guarantee the conduct of elections in line with OSCE commitments and other international standards and obligations". As to the voting, the OSCE stated that " the lack of safeguards in election day and early voting procedures negatively impacted the integrity of the process." It also highlighted that "over 1,000 complaints and applications were filed with the election commissions, local authorities and courts, mostly related to appointment of commission members and candidate registration and deregistration".[15]

The US State Department made a statement, referring to the decision by the OSCE: "The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, and the Council of Europe’s conclusions and observations about these elections are deeply troubling. We regret that alternative voices will not be represented in parliament."[16]

The European Union noted that the election "took place in an overall calm atmosphere" but stated that "there was an overall disregard for fundamental freedoms of assembly, association and expression".[17]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c These parties do not compete in the election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lukashenka Calls Belarus's Next Presidential Election For 2020 RFE/RL, 19 April 2019
  2. ^ Александр Лукашенко назначил досрочные выборы в парламент Белоруссии Meduza, 19 April 2019
  3. ^ Belarus IDEA
  4. ^ "З выбараў сабраліся зьняць трох кандыдатаў "Эўрапейскай Беларусі"". Радыё Свабода (in Belarusian). Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  5. ^ "Belarus's 2019 parliamentary election: consequential or not? | BelarusDigest". Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  6. ^ Ермошина о «вбросе» бюллетеней в Бресте: Наблюдателя надо лишить аккредитации
  7. ^ В Бресте лишили аккредитации наблюдателя, который обвинил девушку в попытке вброса бюллетеней
  8. ^ «У мяне таксама абвастрылася хвароба». Назіральніка, які зняў на відэа спробу ўкіду бюлетэняў, наведалі назіральнікі АБСЕ
  9. ^ Студенты утверждают, что за досрочное голосование их освободят от занятий. В университетах это отрицают
  10. ^ Белорусские студенты протестуют: их принуждают досрочно голосовать на выборах в парламент
  11. ^ AP, Yuras Karmanau |. "Belarus election results: An opposition-free parliament". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  12. ^ "Elections in Belarus hailed as competitive, open". eng.belta.by. 2019-11-18. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  13. ^ a b "СВЕДЕНИЯ об избранных депутатах" (PDF). CEC Belarus. 18 November 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Belarus election: No seats for opposition as Lukashenko maintains power | DW | 18.11.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  15. ^ Belarus, Early Parliamentary Elections, 17 November 2019: Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 18 November 2019]
  16. ^ Belarus Parliamentary Elections - Press Statement, Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State, November 20, 2019]
  17. ^ Statement by the Spokesperson on the parliamentary elections in Belarus, 18 November 2019