A CONCERT PROGRAM "For the leader" BROADCASTED BY THE CHANNEL ONT VIOLATES THE CURRENT LAW OF BELARUS
On February 1, a concert program of Russian and Belarusian singers started a large-scale action “For Belarus!” in Hrodna. The concert of singers was free: All the audience received invitation cards to the Ice palace. Russian and Belarusian singers and the leaders of Hrodna administration praised the policy carried out by Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The action that was scheduled to continue until March 10, a week before the election day, would end in a gala-concert in Minsk.
Actually the concert tour “For Belarus’ is an open propaganda step of support of the incumbent leader of the country, which is broadcasted by the state channel all over the country. The filming team of the ONT is going to go across the country for one month and a half. There have already been three concerts. During the last concert that took place last weekend the billboards “For Belarus!” were changed to the billboards “For the leader”, and the same phrase was chanted by BRUY members.
In connection with violations of the legislation during such an event, a human rights lawyer and a trusted agent of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the candidate to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Uladzimir Labkovich filed an application to the Central Election Committee containing the following text:
To the Central Election and Referendum Committee
of the Republic of Belarus
Minsk Savietskaya str., 11 (The House of Government)
from Labkovich Uladzimir Mikalaievich
Maiakouskaha 20, 40
the trusted agent of the Presidential Candidate
On 19.01.2006 the channel ONT broadcasted the concert of singers during which the singers and the audience chanted "For the leader”. The concert hall was also decorated with flags and posters having the same phrase. This agitation event for the Presidential candidate A.G. Lukashenka was arranged by the public association BRUY. According to Article 155 of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus, this event is characterized by agitation orientation. According to the above-mentionaed facts, I ask you to explain the following:
1. According to Article 38 of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus the financial means that can be used for the election campaign, are assigned from the budget of the Republic of Belarus and from a created off-budget fund. The financial means of physical bodies, public organizations, are political parties, which are used during the election campaign, are directed to the off-budget fund and then are equally distributed between all the candidates to provide them with equal opportunities during the agitation stage of the lection campaign. In this very case, the agitation event was held in the support of the Presidential Candidate Lukashenka, and the financial means from the off-budget fund were not distributed equally.
2. Article 46 of the Election Code of Belarus guarantees the equal conditions for all the candidates during the use of media that are totally or partially financed from the budget of the Republic of Belarus.
Thus, according to the provisions of the above-mentioned articles of the Election Code and according to Article 49 of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus, I REQUEST :
1. provide the information about the agitation concert in the support of the Presidential Candidate Lukashenka, including the conditions of broadcasting of the concert;
2. provide premises for the concert in the support of the Presidential Candidate Milinkevich on the same terms with the incumbent President;
3. make the public association BRUY pay all the financial means used from the off-budget fund for presidential elections and force this organization to strictly and steadily follow the legislation.
February 21, 2005.