Belarusian Helsinki Committee: Local Election Doesn’t Meet International Standards
Observers of Belarusian Helsinki Committee think that the election to local deputy soviets lacked democracy as much as the previous election of president.
More than 500 observers from Belarusian Helsinki Committee monitored the election to local deputy soviet that took place in Belarus on 14 January. On 15 January they summed up the results of the monitoring. The main conclusion is that the election didn’t meet the international standards and were conducted with violations of the Belarusian election laws.
‘Violations started from the very beginning. They took place at the state of forming of commission, continued during registration of candidates and the agitation period – all this didn’t comply with the Belarusian legislation and the international standards,’ stated the BHC executive director Aleh Hulak. However, his greatest criticism is caused by the counting of votes. He watched it at Sukharauskaia election constituency #24 of Minsk, but is far from calling his mission a monitoring. ‘The calculation of votes is conducted 10 meters away from observers and the commission members turn their backs upon us so that nothing can be seen. I have a photo. I get up from my seat and say I am not going to interfere with their actions, but need to see the ballots. They call a policeman and he sits next to me while the calculation is going on,’ Mr. Hulak said in his interview to RFE/RL. According to the observers, the election at this constituency didn’t take place because the attendance was too low, but the resulting minutes of the constituency had absolutely different number of voter. The observers asked the commission to check them, but were told that the election had already taken place.
‘The fact that several independent candidates were elected in Belarus does not change the overall situation. It wasn’t a democratic election and it didn’t differ much from the last presidential election, the same system of falsifications has been applied,’ stated Aleh Hulak.