Initiative group of Aliaxandr Milinkievich sent to Supreme Court and Procurator’s Office of Belarus complaints regarding the warning issued by Central Election Committee
Aliaxandr Milinkievich’s initiative group is convinced that the calendars that CEC used as a reason for the warning did not contain any agitation. Also, Uladzimier Labkovich, the head of the legal service of the support group for Aliaxandr Milinkievich says that the complaints emphasize that according to Article 49 of the Election Code, the CEC does not have the right to issue warnings to initiative groups of pretenders: “Only territorial election commissions can issue a warning to an initiative group for a violation committed on its territory during signature collection. And the Central Commission can only deregister a candidate”.
Valiantsin Stefanovich, a lawyer of the human rights center Viasna, who has published his conclusion is of the same opinion. However, the CEC chair Lidzia Iarmoshyna is sure that the commission acted according to the law: “How can a territorial commission issue a warning to an initiative group registered by the Central Commission? This would exceed their power, so Mr. Stefanovich is simply illiterate”.
Ms Iarmoshyna believes that such decision taken by CEC cannot even be appealed in the Supreme Court: “We are the last institution – they can only appeal this with the procurator’s office”.
Lidzia Iarmoshyna said that this warning issued to the Milinkievich group will be considered during the registration of the candidates, like other possible cases of violation. However, this is not a duty but a right of the Central Commission, underscored Ms Iarmoshyna.
Meanwhile, Siarhei Papkou, the head of the Pazniak initiative group that also received a CEC warning for the distribution of printed materials, said that he would not take the matter to the Supreme Court or procurator’s office because he sees no sense in doing that: “Is our court system independent? These are two branches of the same tree”.