Soviet of Ministers Rules to More Strictly Control Polling of Public and Political Issues
The state imposes a stricter control on the conduction of sociologic polls concerning public and political topics and the publication of their results. The Soviet of Ministers of Belarus adopted the ruling according to which all sociologic research of political issues will be controlled by the commission on public polls of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. It will deal with the accreditation of the juridical bodies who intend to organize public polls concerning referendums, presidential and parliamentary election and the public and political situation in the country.
The commission is empowered to control the activity of sociologic services at all stages of polling and can annul accreditation in the case of violations.
Representatives of independent sociological institutes and members of the commission that will issue permissions for political research commented on the document to RFE/RL.
Aliaksandr Sasnou, chaor of Independent Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) registered in Lithuania, associates the appearance of this ruling with the presidential election:
-- The authorities search the possibilities to control the holding of sociological polls and make their results correspond to the official demands. The main thing – the commission is empowered to define the preciseness of the received data. How can it do it? No way.
According to the state ruling, the sociologic institutes and centers who deal with political research must be accredited by the commission on public polls of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which will take some time. Not all organizations will receive accreditations. The main victim will be society that will be left without precise information about the situation of the society.
One of the commission members is the secretary of the Central Election Commission Mikalai Lazavik who stated it was necessary to issue such a ruling:
-- After the last presidential election many sociologic researchers stated that many organizations conducted sociologic research of a very low quality. To prevent this, the Academy of Sciences proposed to establish the commission that would regulate the order of giving the right for such research.