News for August 2008

21.08.2008 Haradok: neither voters, nor district commission aware of composition of precinct commissions

According to the election law of the Republic of Belarus and the Calendar Plan of the Election Events, precinct election commissions were to be created no later than August 13th. Decisions about creation of the precinct commissions, with indication of their membership lists, location, and contact phone numbers were to be published in local state media during 7 days from their creation.

21.08.2008 Baranavichy: Even time of the commission’s sessions concealed from election observers

Chair of Baranavichy rural district # 7 P. Dubouski refused observer of the Belarusian Helsinski Committee Mikalai Chyzhykau teh opportunity to look through the minutes of the commission's session. Dubouski also refused to inform the observer about the time of tthecommission's session.

21.08.2008 Baranavichy: State media deliberately conceal the places of work of commission members

Karnei Piatrovich, BHC monitor, managed to find out, precinct election commissions in Baranavichy were mostly formed through nomination by work collectives and signature collection. Although a work collective can nominate only one representative in the commission, the precinct commissions mostly consist of 10-12 members from the same work collective. Moreover, chairs of the commissions are often bosses of the other commission members in their company’s hierarchy.

21.08.2008 Hrodna: CIS observers impossible to find

Hrodna observers and journalist have already spent a week trying to find out the location of CIS observers who arrived in Hrodna.

21.08.2008 Navahradak: Executive committee makes excuses for Yury Istomin’s detention

The story of Yury Istomin’s detention on August 18th was widely spread in the Internet. Istomin was detained by Navahradak police. That’s why he was late to register the signatures in the executive committee and submit documents for his registration as a UDF candidate in Navahradak district.

21.08.2008 Formation of election commissions

Legal regulations According to Article 28 of the Election Code, preparation and organization of the election to the Chamber of Representatives is provided for by the district and precinct election commissions.

18.08.2008 Maladechna: only members of pro-governmental NGOs were selected to precinct election commissions

By the decision of Maladechna and Valozhyn rayon executive committees, only representatives of the pro-governmental NGOs and political parties were included in precinct election commissions in Maladechna city district # 70 and rural district # 71.The total number of members of such organizations as the CPB party, Belarusian Union of Women, veterans' organizations, BRSM, and Belaya Rus is 72 people.

18.08.2008 Polatsak: Main principle of forming precinct election commissions is dependence

The principles of creation precinct election commissions did not change in Polatsak – just as it happened during the previous election, members of one work collective often become the core of a precinct commission. The person who the rest of commission members depend on is often chosen commission chairperson. Let take precinct election commission # 1 as an example.

18.08.2008 Mahiliou: UDF contender received seven letters from financial investigation department of the Committee for State Control

Yury Novikau has received seven registered letters from the financial investigation department of the Committee for State Control. The letters contain summons to come to the financial investigation department and forms he and his family have to fill in.

18.08.2008 Zhlobin: Refuse from collected signatures!

Member of Valery Rybchanska’s initiative group was forced to refuse from the signatures he had collected. His employer insisted he did that in written form.

18.08.2008 Navahradak: Сontender has problems with signature registration

Yury Istomin, contender in Navahradak election district, was detained in the afternoon together with several members of his initiative group. Istomin, head of the regional UCP organization, continued to collect signatures in Navahradak. The police considered their actions "early agitation". This way the police did not only hinder the signature collection, but also deprived Yury Istomin of the opportunity to get the local authorities to confirm the signatures.

18.08.2008 Rechytsa: tax inspectorate summons UDF candidate’s employer

On Friday, August 15th, manager of private company “Alida & Co.” A. Shabetnik was summoned by the tax inspectorate. He was asked if V. Putsitski, who is a candidate on the UDF list, really worked for the company. A person in civil clothes was present during the conversation.

18.08.2008 Babruisk: Adverse publicity for UDF candidate Aliaksandar Chyhir

The trial over UDF candidate Ales Chyhir was used by the official newspaper Babruiskaye Zhytstsio for the article “Bearded Poltergeist”. The author who hid under the pseudonym Al. Palindrom, used the attributes that insult the candidate. For example, he called Chyhir “our anti-hero”. Besides that, the portrait of Chyhir is pictured with emotionally negative colors. The author hid all of the characters of his “work” behind initials for “ethical reasons”, and revealed only Chyhir’s full name.

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.

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