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Presidential election in Belarus: reforms needed to address substantial shortcomings

The presidential election of 11 October 2015 showed that Belarus still has a considerable way to go in honouring its commitment to hold democratic elections, according to PACE's observer delegation.

A report prepared by delegation head Reha Denemeç (Turkey, EC) said that on polling day, voters had been able to make their choice in a transparent manner in the presence of many domestic and international observers. “However, an election is not limited to polling day”. The vote counting procedures and the rules governing the work of observers on polling day need to be considerably improved in order to enhance confidence in the electoral process.

According to the text, Belarus needs to reform its electoral legislation to ensure a thoroughly competitive political environment which is a key condition for the long-term democratic stability of the country.

The report also underlines the importance of the work of all the civil society stakeholders actively involved in the observation of elections. It believes that the Belarus authorities should pursue their co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly and with the Venice Commission in order to improve the legal framework and electoral practices in Belarus.