State-run Newspaper Criticizes Opposition Candidate

2007 2007-01-16T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Kalinkavitskiya Naviny newspaper published materials against the pro-democratic candidate on the eve of the election.

Deutsche Welle reports, Aliakesei Manevich, pro-democratic candidate from Kalinkavichy, believes the negative article about him in the local state-run newspaper is an ideological sabotage.

State-controlled mass media, both national and regional ones, have practically ignored the election campaigns of different candidates. Moreover, they tried to present the election as a process of preparation for voting, and not as a struggle between various political forces. This is a conclusion of the Belarusian Association of Journalists which monitored coverage of the local election in mass media.

Unlike the others, Kalinkavitskiya Naviny, a state-run newspaper in Homel region, devoted the front page to opposition candidate Aliaksei Manevich. It presents the member of United Civic Party in the negative light. However, by the very fact of publication the syate-run newspaper made the pro-democratic activist famous in the region.

On January 11 Kalinkavitskiya Naviny published two letters from the readers who urge not to vote for young candidate Aliaksei Manevich. The titles of the articles sound appropriately: “Our Coeval Disappointed Us” and “We Will Vote for Respected People”. The letters criticize the opposition member and his platform in different ways. They write about recent meeting of candidate’s agent and UDF leader Aliaksandar Milinkevich with voters.In particular, the reader is unhappy about the fact that Milinkevich had more time for the speech than the local candidate.

By the way, the meeting with Milinkevich, mentioned in the letter, gathered no more than 50 residents of Kalinkavichy. However, no less than 6 thousand readers of the state-run newspaper were able to read about the meeting. Manevich’s name is mentioned on the front page 13 times. It is not a surprise that the numbers of the opposition candidate grew after the publication.

Manevich says: “This is some kind of ideological sabotage in the team of Kalinkavitskiya Naviny”. I didn’t expect such attention. All day long I meet my voters. They come up to me and say: ”we have read about you”. I think the publication worked for my popularity.

Just one more interesting detail. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief is Ivan Haryst – the opponent of Aliaksei Manevich in the election.

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