Lukashenka sets dates for parliamentary elections in Belarus

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a number of decrees to set the dates for the elections to the Council of the Republic and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 7th convocation.

They will be held on 7 and 17 November 2019 respectively, state-run news agency BelTA reports.

Local councils of deputies, executive and administrative bodies shall nominate candidates to the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly not later than 8 October 2019.

As reported earlier, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus, said that the next presidential election might take place on 30 August 2020.

The exact dates of the two elections had been wrapped in mystery for long. In February 2019, Ms Yarmoshyna said that it was still unknown whether the parliamentary or presidential campaign would kick off in the autumn of 2019. Last week, the top official put forward the initiative to hold elections to the Council of the Republic (upper chamber) on November, 7 and elections to the House of Representatives (lower chamber) on November, 17.

The House of Representatives consists of 110 MPs who are elected to four-year terms in single-member constituencies. The Council of the Republic comprises 64 senators; 56 of them are elected by regional councils of deputies, eight senators are appointed directly by the head of state.

The recent elections to the House of Representatives took place in September, 2016. Fore the first time in 20 years two representatives of the Belarusian opposition – Hanna Kanapatskaya (United Civic Party) and Alena Anisim(Belarusian Language Society) — became MPs. According to the OSCE report, the 11 September parliamentary elections were ‘efficiently organized’, but, despite some first steps by the authorities, a number of long-standing systemic shortcomings remained.

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