Barely any opposition members in the electoral commissions
There will be only three members of opposition parties out in 91 regional electoral commissions. Two more members come from the Liberal Democratic Party. As expected, the authorities prevented the members of opposition parties from entering election committees, making space for pro-regime political parties and NGOs. At the same time opposition parties did not show interest in entering regional and local election committees. According to independent and party observers most violations of the election law happen at ballot stations. However, it is clear that the authorities will prevent opposition from entering local election committees as well. Most likely they will allow some opposition members to the election committees in the outlying provincial districts.
Following crackdown and arrests of participants in the spring protests, the authorities resumed arrests as punishment for participating in street protests in addition to fines, which for some time were the only punishment for political activity. On September 22nd, 2017, the riot police detained the Belarusian National Congress leader Nikolai Statkevich, the opposition politician was placed in detention centre on Akrestin street. On the same day, after serving seven days of arrest, another BNC leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, was released. He was sentenced for organising a street protest on September 8th against the West-2017 exercises. Other participants in the protest have been fined too. The authorities are likely to continue to use fines and arrests against political activists to punish for their protest activity.