Formation of TECs ahead of constitutional referendum
The domestic election observation mission by "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" released its first report on the formation process of territorial election commissions (TECs) ahead of the constitutional referendum in Belarus.
- territorial election commissions (hereinafter - TECs) are one of the key mechanisms for holding a referendum in accordance with international principles of free and democratic elections and national electoral law;
- under current electoral legislation, the formation of the TECs is within the competence of local authorities;
- entities eligible to nominate their representatives to the TECs were given an extremely short period of time, only one working day, which could seriously affect the nomination process;
- the bulk of nominees to the TECs are representatives of the five largest pro-government organizations, Belaya Rus, Youth Union, Women’s Union, Association of Veterans, and Peace Foundation, together with various branches of the government-controlled trade unions. All of them nominated a total of 964 representatives, or 95.5% of the total number of nominations by public associations and almost 50% of all candidates for seats in the commissions. The role of nominees from political parties remains low – 120 people or 6.2% of all nominees;
- the majority of TEC members are representatives of public associations – 1,010 persons, or 54.39%. The TECs offered seats to 99.17% of the representatives nominated by the five pro-government associations and trade unions;
- of the 20 nominees from the opposition parties, none was authorized. At the same time, 74.16% of the total number of persons nominated by the pro-government political parties became TEC members; 90% of them are members of the Communist Party of Belarus. This demonstrates the persistence of discriminatory treatment of opposition political parties and independent NGOs in the formation of election commissions.