News for 17 Aug 2008

17.08.2008 Blast investigation does not change direction

Aleh Pronski, Masty activist of the Movement for Freedom, nominated to the precinct election commission, was invited to visit the local KGB office. The guy spent the last two months abroad, but they want to talk about Minsk explosion with him.

17.08.2008 Future parliament looms from publications in state media

State mass media continue to promote certain candidates. They obviously know who they should write about. From the publications we can actually see who is going to become the “elected representative” of the people.

17.08.2008 Vetka: candidate fined 1 million BYR for missing road sign

Kanstantsin Zhukouski plans to run in district # 38. On August 15th he was fined by Vetka rayon court. Judge Yu. Mazheika decided Zhukouski had committed an administrative infringement “which was revealed in entering the radiation polluted area” (Article 16.3 part 2 of the Administrative Code).

17.08.2008 ELECTION WEEK: EVENTS AND GENERAL CONCLUSIONS

Formation of precinct election commissions was the main topic this week. As a result, very few representatives of pro-democratic parties and NGOs will work in the commissions. Another week trend was growing amount of promotion of pro-governmental candidates in state mass media, who, in violation of the election law, seem to be not ashamed of giving election promises on this stage of the campaign. The candidates, especially incumbent MPs, seem to have just woken up after four-year hibernation and all of a sudden remembered about their voters. To be more precise, they decided it was about time to start “feeding” people with another portion of usual promises. At the same time, the so-called “self-initiative” – running without the agreement of the authorities, which in fact is the expression of the political will of a citizen, not only fails to win admiration (although it should – finally people show political activity the authorities have been calling for!) but leads to job losses… Signature collection for the candidates backed by the authorities was quite different from the process which pro-democratic and independent candidates had to undertake.

17.08.2008 Slutsk: Executive committee’s ideologists “train” chairs and secretaries of precinct election commissions

On August 15th two conferences took place in the building of Slutsk rayon executive committee. The first conference gathered chairmen and secretaries of rural precinct election commissions, and the second one gathered chairmen and secretaries of urban precinct committees. The conferences were organized directly by Slutsk executive committee officials: deputy head of the committee for social issues and ideological work Piotr B. Dauhuchyts and head of ideological department of the committee Larysa H. Dabravolskaya.

17.08.2008 Paleskaya election district: Authorities set the keynote, who to vote for

Administrative resource in support of the pro-governmental candidate is fully used in Paleskaya election district. According to headquarters of the UDF representative Mikalai Haurylenka, the authorities (the executive committees’ representatives) hold meetings with work collectives, during which they promote Siarhei Kanoplich, chairman of Yelsk executive committee. For instance, chairman of Lelchytsy rayon Council Anatol Khaliava organized meetings for nomination of representatives of work collectives to precinct election commissions (Milashevichy forestry, Prybalavichy forestry, Barauskoye forestry, “Alyans” agro-industrial complex, engineer-constructor company PMK-103, Lelchytsy rayon hospital, etc.) and urged them to vote for Siarhei Kanoplich.

17.08.2008 Nomination of candidates to the Council of the Republic begins

Nomination of candidates to the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament, the Council of the Republic of the 4th convocation, began on August 17th. Mikalai Lazavik, secretary of the Central Election Commission, informs, candidates to the Council of the Republic can be nominated by presidiums of local councils and corresponding executive committees. No less than two thirds of the local council’s presidium and the executive committee should participate in the joint session nominating the candidates.

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