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Most parliamentary candidates unwilling to take part in debates, Lozovik says

MINSK, 28 August (BelTA) – Most candidates to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus are not going to take part in debates, Secretary of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus Nikolai Lozovik told reporters on 28 August.

According to him, in some electoral districts parliamentary candidates willing to take part in a debate cannot find opponents. Some want to discuss social and other issues, others do not. In this case debates will not be held.

There are some electoral districts where debates will be held, but their number is small. For example, there are only two or three of them in Gomel Oblast, Nikolai Lozovik said.

The CEC Secretary explained to reporters why media appearances of candidates calling for boycott will not be broadcast. “It does not make sense for the state to conduct an election campaign, spend huge funds on it and let opponents use media time to campaign against this state event,” Nikolai Lozovik said. He added that no sanctions will be applied to parliamentary candidates urging boycott.

He noted that calls for boycott are not illegal in the Belarusian legislation, but they run contrary to what is meant under an election campaign. The law provides that an election campaign “implies activities encouraging voters to take part in elections, to vote for or against certain candidates”.