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Experts against changing Belarusian laws before parliamentary elections

MINSK (BelTA) – The expert group under the Central Election Commission of Belarus (CEC) believes it is inadvisable to consider amending the Electoral Code of Belarus at present, BelTA learned from the CEC website.

“Since elections to the parliament will be scheduled in the next few months and taking into account recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) regarding the inadvisability of changing the election legislation less than one year before an election, the interagency expert group believes it is inadvisable to consider introducing more amendments to the Electoral Code of Belarus,” the CEC website reads.

At the same time the expert group has come up with proposals on measures to improve the election process without amending the legislation. The measures can be implemented in the course of the parliamentary elections in 2016. The proposals are aimed at making the formation of election commissions more open, at raising the public's awareness about results of complaints about election disputes, at enabling the conditions for monitoring election procedures. The proposals will be submitted for consideration of the head of state.

The interagency expert group was set up on 12 February to look into the OSCE ODIHR's recommendations on ways to improve the election process in Belarus. The experts include representatives of the Central Election Commission, the National Center for Legislation and Legal Studies, both chambers of the parliament, the Justice Ministry, the Information Ministry, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group is headed by CEC member Yelena Dmukhailo.

The experts took care of analyzing the OSCE ODIHR recommendations laid down by the final report of the mission sent to observe the Belarus president election in 2015.