CEC chair says election participation should be paid

Speaking in front of the BRYU activists in Minsk, the CEC chair Lidziya Yarmoshyna suggested that future candidates for the presidency create financial funds for the elections, Minsk News reports.

Answering a question about the need to change the electoral law, Yarmoshyna noted that financial contributions would confirm the “seriousness of intentions” of candidates. According to her, the country “has reached the point where the unemployed, people without education, who lead an shady lifestyle, can participate in election”.

“If the central commission hadn’t checked the applications for registration of initiative groups, their participants, 55 potential candidates, who needed only a platform for the rally, could have participated in the elections. We have released 15 verified initiative groups. Seven of them submitted documents on collecting signatures. It turns out that eight people used it for self-promotion,” said the head of the Central Election Commission.

According to Yarmoshyna, this happens because the elections in Belarus are free.

“I think we should move to the principle, which is used by our neighbors — Ukraine or Russia. For example, in Ukraine, in order to participate in elections, one must pay an election deposit of $93 thousand in the equivalent of hryvnias. If you do not go to the second round, the money is transferred to the budget. But we have a country of not very wealthy people. You can’t make elections only for oligarchs. So I suggest: a candidate should not make a deposit, but create a minimum financial fund and put money there. This confirms the seriousness of their intentions to participate in the election campaign.

They will be able to use this money to pay for the activities of the initiative group, printing advertising products. In any case, it will make it possible to carry out the selection and prevent some low life from participating in the election,” she said.

Yarmoshyna also suggested reducing the number of signatures required for registration to 1% of voters (over 70,000). As a reminder, according to the current legislation, a potential candidate must collect more than 100 thousand signatures.