Electoral districts, their size, changes, district divisions, manipulation with division. A regional overview.
The first stage of the election campaign for deputies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (lower house of the Parliament) has finished: electoral districts and district electoral commissions are formed. The boundaries and the composition of electoral districts have undergone minor changes. The change in district division is the consequence of a conflict regarding areas of responsibilities of certain MPs or pressure groups, rather than a serious necessity. The current practice of vote count does not require the election organizers to obtain the desired result by means of such complicated manipulations as a change in district boundaries.
The greatest district border reformatting occurred in Minsk region. District boundaries in other regions have not undergone significant changes. The changes in district boundaries in Minsk oblast can be attributed to a greater competition for an MP seat of Minsk region in comparison with other oblasts. Also, this change indicate that the struggle for the distribution of MP mandates inside the power elites begins long before the official start of the campaign and is held at the level of the Presidential Administration, where district boundaries are approved and the areas of responsibility of future MPs are distributed.
It can be added, that at this stage the campaign is built on the matrix of the elections 2008 and so far there is every reason to believe that the outcome of the campaign will be the same as in 2008.
Number of voters in the Republic of Belarus by regions
In total, at the elections to the House of Representatives of the fifth convocation 110 electoral districts were formed, according to the number of MPs in the House of Representatives. The majority of districts are in Minsk - 20. Next come Minsk oblast and Gomel oblast - 17 districts in each, then Brest oblast- 16, Vitebsk oblast- 14, Mogilev and Grodno oblasts- 13.
The average number of voters in a district was 64,597 people. A lower average number of voters was registered only in three constituencies, a higher average number, 4%, was registered in one of Minsk’s districts. Thus, in 110 districts, 7,100,950 voters are registered.
The next step in the campaign is setting the polling stations, which is to be completed by 21 July 2012. It is likely that the scheme will be the same as during the last election campaign.