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23 July 2020

Belarus CEC: Fewer observers at polling stations due to epidemiological situation

The number of observers at polling stations during the current election campaign will be reduced due to the epidemiological situation. Such a decision was adopted at a meeting of the Belarusian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) on 22 July, BelTA has learned.

CEC head Lidia Yermoshina proposed to reduce the number of observers to five on the main voting day, and to three during the early voting time. “The matter is about presence. The accreditation of observers does not stop,” she said.

She recalled that the Healthcare Ministry has developed recommendations to prevent the spread of respiratory infections (including COVID-19) during the presidential election. The recommendations include social distancing at a polling stations. Charis and tables of the precinct commission members, places for observers should be at least one meter apart.

The changes do not apply to international observers, proxies of presidential candidates, members of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic, members of local councils who can observe the election in accordance with their status, and also registered media. Journalists will be able to visit polling stations.

As of 21 July, the CEC accredited 29 international observers from the CIS Executive Committee.

BelTA reported earlier that the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus scheduled the presidential election for 9 August. According to the timetable, early voting is scheduled for 4-8 August. The Central Election Commission is supposed to sum up results of the election on 19 August at the latest. If the second round of the election is necessary, it will take place within two weeks of the first one, that is on 23 August.