Lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich makes commentaries about the warnings to the initiative groups of A.Milinkevich and Z.Pazniak made by the Central Commission.

2006 2006-01-18T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

“The warning to the initiative groups of M.Milinkevich and Z.Pazniak was made by the Central Commission by terms of Article 49 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. However, this article says the following: “when a candidate, his trusted agent or the initiative group of citizens for collection of the signatures of voters in support of a person who is proposed as a candidate or for conducting agitation in support if his election, violate this Code and other election laws of Belarus, the candidate, the initiative group are warned by a corresponding territorial, circuit commission, and in the event of repeated violation of this Code and other laws of Belarus, the corresponding territorial, circuit or Central Commission can cancel the registration of the candidate.”
Thus, the commissions that can issue warnings to an initiative group do not include the Central Commission. Such a warning by terms of Article 49 of the Election Code can be issued by a corresponding territorial commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Belarus, where a violation has occurred. The Central Commission can cancel the registration of a candidate only in the event of repeated violation or refuse to register the candidate to the position of the President of the Republic of Belarus in cased provided by part 5 of Article 49 of the Election Code (without any prior warning).
Article 33 of the Election Code that contains information about the powers of the Central Commision does not say anything about the right to make warnings to initiative groups of the candidates to the position of the President.
In view of the above, I think that the Central Commission did not have any right to make warning to the initiative groups of A.Milinkevich and Z.Pazniak, only corresponding territorial commissions have this right. This decision should be repealed in court, although the last elections showed that the Supreme Court refused to accept such complaints due to their immunity from jurisdiction. The matter is that the Election Code provides the opportunity to appeal in court of only the decisions of the Central Commission about the refused registration of a candidate to the position of the President of Belarus or the canceled registration as a candidate. This is an obvious disadvantage of the election law but, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the deeds of any government bodies can be appealed and the Central Commission is a government body even if it claims the opposite.

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