Summary of Polling about Referendum in Belarus Conducted from October 15-17, 2004

REFERENDUM

The final result of the referendum in Belarus is 48,4% voting age population voted “yes”. This is below the fifty percent threshold required to change the Belarusian Constitution and is outside the +/-1% margin of error for surveys of this sample size.

During the Early Voting Period 21,3% of registered voters said they voted. Among them 62,6% voted “yes”. This means that 13,33% of all register voters cast their ballots in favour of the referendum during the early voting period. Self reported turnout during the early voting plus Sunday was 87,3% (This figure is the highest possible level of turnout based on national representative sample interviewing. A lower level of turnout would only decrease the level of “yes” votes among all registered voters and a higher level would be extraordinarily unlikely). This means that on Sunday 66% of all registered voters took part in the referendum.

According to the Exit Polling conducted on Sunday, October 17, 53,1% of participating voters voted “yes”, 28,55% said they voted “no”, 1.03% spoiled the ballot, 0,69% voted exclusively in the parliamentary elections, and 16,63% did not answer how they voted. This means that 35.04% of all registered voters voted “yes” on Sunday.

During the Early Voting polling interviews were conducted in twenty randomly selected districts throughout Belarus in order to provide for a balanced national sample on the referendum question 19 205 voters were interviewed.

During Exit Polling conducted on Sunday 18 397 voters where interviewed at the polling station after voting in the same twenty randomly selected districts. The final results are based on 37 602 interviews of voting aged residents of these districts.

 

Action of protest in Minsk

October 21, 2004
On October 18th, 19th and 20th there are protest actions in Minsk against results of the referendum and elections to the House of Representatives. Actions of opposition are held at the Octobed Square in Minsk and are accompanied by detaining participants by OMON (special police). The most mass action was held on October 18th that gathered about 3000 people, mainly young people. Now judging the participants in the Court is going on. Judges of the Lenin district sentence them mainly to imprisonment from 5 up to 15 days at the Okrestina street. There are no MSD members among detained people.

On October 19th the leader of the Belarusian social democratic Party (Narodnaya Gramada) was detained. On October 20th by the Lenin district Court according to Administrative breaking Code he was sentenced to 10 days of imprisonment. One more leader of the opposition Party Anatoliy Lebedka (UCP) now is in the hospital. He was detained also on October 19th during the action of protest and was strongly beaten. Cranial trauma, beaten kidneys and broken ribs was the result of it.

Members of the BSDP (NG) now are preparing the number of pickets near the prison at Okrestino-str., where the leader of the Party is.

 

Results of registration of candidates

September 20, 2004
September, 16 the registered candidates for deputies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus got their certificates. Not all nominees of the political parties passed a stage of collection of signatures. For this day we have the following from the parties for 110 sits in the parliament: The Belarusian Popular Front – 32, The Belarusian Social Democratic Party – 28, The United Civil Party – 27, The Party of Communists of Belarus – 24, The Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada – 8, The Labour Party – 2. The Block “Young Belarus” and Group “Republic” have 2 candidates each. Currently some unregistered candidates submitted their claims to courts, so the number of the candidates can change in near future.

From 8 candidates, nenbers of the MSD, only 3 were registered. So an agitatation campaign will be continued by Akaronka Natalla, Gorbachev Leonid and Slepukhin Valery.

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