The President of the Republic of Belarus is the Head of State, the guarantor of the Constitution, the rights and freedoms of the individual and the citizen.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the President of the Republic of Belarus is elected for five years directly by the people and takes office after taking the oath of office.
The elections of the President of the Republic of Belarus are appointed by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus no later than five months and are held on Sunday no later than two months before the expiration of the term of the previous President.
After his election as President of the Republic of Belarus, Lukashenko was sworn in on November 6, 2015, and the next presidential elections are to be held no later than Sunday, August 30, 2020.
The general legal rules on the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus are set by the Constitution. The electoral code of the Republic of Belarus has settled the electoral code of the Republic of Belarus in detail.
By virtue of the law, a citizen of the Republic of Belarus by birth, at least 35 years of age, who has the right to vote and has been resident in the Republic of Belarus for at least ten years just before the elections, may be elected President of the Republic of Belarus. A citizen with a criminal record cannot be a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic of Belarus.
The following election commissions provide for the preparation and holding of presidential elections:
The Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus on elections and holding of republican referendums;
– regional and Minsk city territorial commissions (formed no later than 80 days before the elections by the presidiums of the regional, Minsk City Councils of Deputies and regional, Minsk city executive committees consisting of 9-13 members);
– district, urban (in the cities of regional subordination), district in cities territorial commissions (formed no later than 80 days before the elections by the relevant presidiums of district, city councils of deputies and district, city executive committees of 9-13 members);
Precinct commissions (formed no later than 45 days before the elections by district, city executive committees, local district administrations in cities of 5-19 members). Outside the country, these commissions are formed by the heads of diplomatic missions
Belarus operating on the territory of the respective states.
It is right to nominate its representatives to the territorial and precinct election commissions:
Political parties and other social associations;
Employees of organizations or their structural units;
Citizens of at least 10 people by application.
As a rule, at least one third of representatives of political parties and other public associations are included in the territorial and precinct commissions. Public servants could not constitute more than one third of the commission, and judges, prosecutors, heads of local executive and administrative bodies could not be members of those commissions.
Candidates for the post of President are nominated by citizens of the Republic of Belarus with at least 100,000 signatures of voters. Voter signatures in support of the nomination are collected by members of the initiative group. The initiative group must have at least 100 members. The initiative group is registered by the Central Commission.
Signatures can be collected in the form of picketing in places not prohibited by local executive and administrative bodies. In the process of collecting signatures in support of candidates, the participation of the administration of the organization, coercion and reward of voters for the signing is not allowed.
Registration of presidential candidates is carried out by the Central Commission. Registration begins 35 days and ends 25 days before the election.
To register, a citizen nominated as a presidential candidate presents:
A written statement of consent to run as a presidential candidate;
Biographical data on the form established by the Central Commission;
Copies of documents on education, place of work, position (occupation);
Declaration of their income and property, as well as spouses (spouse) and adult close relatives living with him and leading a common household, according to the form established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus;
A financial report on the expenditure of the electoral fund if it was created by the person in question.
The decision to register a presidential candidate is made by the Central Commission on the basis of the above-mentioned documents, as well as the protocols of the territorial election commissions on the results of verification of the validity of the signatures collected by the initiative group of voters. Once registered, applicants are issued with the relevant certificates.
The Central Commission refuses to register a presidential candidate in the cases set by the Electoral Code. In particular, if the person does not meet the requirements for the presidential candidate, has a criminal record, non-compliance with the order of his nomination, insufficient number of collected signatures and if there are other violations of the law under article 681 of the Electoral Code. The decision to refuse registration can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Belarus.
The presidential candidate has the right to have up to 30 proxies who help the candidate in the election campaign, campaign and represent his interests in relations with state bodies, public associations, voters and electoral commissions.
Presidential candidates have the right to set up their own electoral funds to finance campaign expenses of no more than 9,000 basic units. Presidential candidates’ electoral funds can be formed from the candidate’s own money, voluntary donations of citizens of the Republic of Belarus and legal entities. To form his own electoral fund, the candidate opens a special electoral account in the division of the open-ended company “Savings Bank Belarusbank.”
A own electoral fund can also be established before a person is registered as a presidential candidate to pay for expenses and services related to the collection of signatures of voters, including to pay members of the initiative group.
Pre-election campaigning for the election of presidential candidates can be carried out after their registration by the Central Commission at meetings, rallies, in the media and at meetings with voters. On the day of voting, campaigning is prohibited.
In order to hold meetings with voters, local executive and executive bodies, in coordination with the electoral commissions, determine and provide premises for presidential candidates free of charge.
Presidential candidates and their proxies have the right to hold mass events (outside meetings, rallies, picketing) for the purposes of campaigning in places defined by local executive and administrative bodies in coordination with the electoral commissions. Presidential candidates have the right to produce campaign printed materials (posters, leaflets and other materials) from their own election funds.
The Central Commission produces general posters with biographical data on presidential candidates, as well as information materials about them for referral to voters.
Presidential candidates are equally used by the state media. Candidates have the right to publish pre-election programs in the media free of charge, to speak on state television and on radio, to take part in TV debates.
Voting is carried out at polling stations formed during the election campaign on a territorial basis. Information on their whereabouts is published for the local executive and executive authorities. Precinct commissions alert voters about the time and place of voting. Voters vote at polling stations in their place of residence, and citizens registered at their place of residence vote at the polling stations. For the voting of military personnel and other voters living in the areas of military units, polling stations in military units are formed. Polling stations may also be provided for voters in sanatoriums, dispensaries, holiday homes, hospitals and other health-care organizations providing medical care in inpatient settings. Voters outside the Republic of Belarus vote at polling stations formed by the heads of the relevant diplomatic missions (consular agencies). Voters who are not able to vote on election day have the right to vote early within five days before the election. Voters who, on election day for health reasons or other valid reasons, cannot come to the polling station may vote on election day.
Observers, including proxies of candidates, representatives of political parties and other public associations, foreign states and international organizations, as well as representatives of the media, are entitled to be present during the elections. Presidential candidates have the right to be present at polling stations when counting the votes.
The results of the elections are established by the Central Commission on the basis of the protocols of the regional, Minsk city commissions for presidential elections, drawn up according to the protocols of the lower commissions on the results of the vote count on polling stations, districts, cities, districts in cities. The report on the results of the presidential elections of the Republic of Belarus is published in the media.
Presidential elections are considered to have taken place if more than half of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, included in the list of voters, took part in the voting. The President is considered elected if more than half of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus who took part in the vote voted for him.