Two Vitebsk Candidates Lose Registration: Uladzislaw Tokaraw and Paval Seviarynets
Vitebsk district election commission # 17 cancelled registration of two opposition candidates: Paval Seviarynets and Uladzislaw Tokaraw. The reason for dismissal was the radio speeches of both candidates. According to the election commission Seviarynets and Tokaraw have consciously insulted state officials and Alexander Lukashenka.
The September 28 session of Horkawskaya election commission # 17 was extra-ordinary. Young Belarus leader Paval Seviarynets thinks it was obviously appointed “from above”: “Yesterday evening at about 5 p.m. I talked to the commission chairperson and everything seemed ok. At 9.20 p.m., in about 4 hours, she called me and said she had bad news for me. She invited me to the session, and, (surprise!) they cancelled my registration. I think the authorities appreciated the scale of my campaign – until now I am the only one campaigning in the district. Its core message is to say “not” at the referendum. By the way, in the speech I was dismissed for, I proposed to say “no” to Lukashenka 15 times”.
According to commission chairperson Sviatlana Mianzhynskaya, in his radio speech Mr. Seviarynets “insulted the state officials all together, accusing them of bureaucratism, deception, larceny, and corruption; he also insulted Alexander Lukashenka by accusing him of establishing dictatorship in the country”.
The commission has the same claims to BPF member Uladzislaw Tokaraw. He comments the incident the following way: “I only repeated the well-known facts: that Lukashenka’s time is over. There were no insulting statements. If he thinks I insulted him that way – he should sue me in court. This just demonstrates the weakness of the Belarusian authorities. They are just afraid of us!”
Uladzislaw Tokaraw and Paval Seviarynets plan to appeal to the Central Election Commission. If CEC confirms that they are out of the parliamentary race, they plan to continue campaigning. Not for themselves, but against the referendum.