More Candidates to Deputy Seats withdraw from Election All over Belarus
In Homel region Viktar Karniienka and Zinaida Shumilina, members of the United Civil Party who both had run for Homel regional deputy soviet, have withdrawn from the election race in Homel region.
According to Vasil Paliakov, head of the UCP regional organization, the two pulled out in protest against a ban on election rallies and attempts by local authorities to disrupt Aliaksandr Milinkevich`s meetings with voters in Homel region. The opposition leader missed three election rallies that he had planned to attend in southern Belarus on 6 January as a vehicle in which he was riding was pulled over and detained by policemen for hours three times within a day. Mr. Paliakou said that three more candidates of the UCP, Leanid Sudalenka, Aliaksandr Protska and Mikalai Kaliuka, still remain in the race. The first two are seeking seats on the regional soviet. The latter is running for the city soviet.
Three more candidates in Homel region (Anatol Paplauny in Homel, Valery Putsitski in Rechytsa and Viktar Ramanishka in Svetlahorsk) withdrew from the race earlier, citing harassment as the reasons harassment and impossibility to control the calculation of votes and the attempt of the authorities to disrupt Aliaksandr Milinkevich’s meetings as well. V.Putsitski ran to Homel regional deputy soviet and A.Paplauny – to Homel city deputy soviet. All of them are members of the Belarusian People’s Front.
In Mahiliou the same step was taken by a democratic activist Zmitser Salauiou and trade union activists Aliaksandr Karaliou and Uladzimir Tuzou.
On 7 December Zmitser Salauiou, a candidate to Mahiliou city deputy soviet, filed to Mahiliou city election commission an official statement about withdrawing from the race. According to the democratic activist (who was nominated a candidate by collecting of citizens’ signatures) he decided to withdraw after Mahiliou city executive committee didn’t let him meet with the electorate at one of the city’s squares. A deputy chair of the committee F.Mikheienka who signed the refusal also informed the candidate that there was a special place for ‘oppositional mass actions’ in Mahiliou, a ‘reservation for opposition’. The same day on 5 January, refusal was received by another democratic candidate, Siarhei Famin, who asked to allow an electoral meeting on the ‘reservation’ ground. As a result of Salauiou’s withdrawal a non-alternative election will take place in his constituency.
The decision to stop running for deputy seats was also taken by the members of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Nadzeia Hryniavitskaia and Taisa Kabanchuk. One of the reasons is that in his interview with a state newspaper Viacherni Babruisk a deputy chair of Babruisk city election committee Mikhail Kavalevich openly stated there would be no opposition in Babruisk city deputy soviet. T.Kabanchuk explained her decision by saying that she doesn’t want to support an outlook of democracy at the election (that is desirable for the authorities) by taking part in it. Both candidates sent letters with explanations of reasons for withdrawal and thanks to the people who had signed for their nomination to the election and.