Political parties will withdraw their candidates if not allowed to join constituency commissions

2008 2008-06-26T14:42:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The democratic parties reserve the right to withdraw their candidates in case the authorities refuse to include representatives of the parties to constituency electoral commissions for election of “chamber of representatives” deputies. It has been stated by leaders of oppositional political parties at the press-conference in Minsk today.

“Yesterday I returned from Strasbourg, where I addressed the PACE session, and we agreed that the single list of potential candidates for deputies, and the list of those offered to become members of constituency electoral commissions are to be given to the Political Committee and to the Subcommittee on Belarus, so that they could serve as a test paper. We were asked all the time, what are criterions of election’s evaluation. It is very simple. Here are 110 names of potential candidates. How many of them are registered? Here is the list of people we offer for electoral commissions. How many of them have become members of constituency commissions? And then it is very easy to make a monitoring of the events. Decisions are not discussed, they are adopted. And we have adopted a decision about a limited participation in the electoral campaign. If there will be no our people among members of constituency electoral commissions, we reserve the right to withdraw the single list candidates from the campaign,” the chairman of the United civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka said.

The politician called the electoral campaign without opposition’s participation in electoral commissions “a lottery scam”.

“At the last presidential election 120,000 people were members of constituency and district electoral commissions, and only 1 of them was a representative of an oppositional party. It means that 119,999 persons represented interests of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and only one represented interests of the two democratic candidates – Alyaksandr Milinkevich and Alyaksandr Kazulin. It is impossible to take part in the election in such a situation; it is a trick for fools, a lottery scam, obviously. If it will be a repetition of the presidential campaign or something close to it, we certainly have a political and moral right to withdraw candidates,” the politician noted.

The leader of the party of Communists of Belarus Syarhei Kalyakin believes that to solve the issue of the further participation in the election, the candidates of political parties should consider among other things “background of the electoral campaign”.

“Besides the question of including opposition figures into commissions, it is also important whether potential candidates will be pressed at work, whether people, who will gather signatures for them, will be pressed. It will be a general background, which we should watch carefully and take decisions,” the leader of the Party of Communist of Belarus said.

In view of Viktar Ivashkevich, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party, democratic candidates should hold electoral campaign in the way, it should be carried out in democratic countries, in spite of all restrictions of the Belarusian Central Election Commission.

“The latest Lukashenka’s interview to “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper shows that the authorities are interested that UDF candidates run in the elections, but would be restricted by various CEC instructions concerning forms and methods of propaganda campaign and would have to carry out a calm and restricted campaign. After that some people, announced “constructive opposition” by the authorities, will be sent to Europe to persuade the European institutions the elections have been democratic and it is necessary to establish relations with the existing authorities in Belarus. In this situation our candidates shouldn’t pay attention to CEC restrictions. We should carry out the campaign in the way we demand it from the authorities. We will spread as much information materials as we can, not as the CEC will allow us. We will have rallies and meet with the electorate where we want, not in outskirts, where the executive committees will send us to. The regime will face a choice: whether it withdraws our candidates, boycotts the elections itself and buries hopes for recognition of the parliament on the West, or it permits us to carry on agitation freely,” Viktar Ivashkevich noted.

“it is absolutely unacceptable for us that some representatives of international organisations and political elites of various countries have backdoor talks that presence of 3 or 4 persons form the united list of the opposition can be exchanged to partial or full recognition of the electoral campaign. We say no. We do not need any quotas from Lukashenka. We need just one thing, namely open, free, fair elections,” UCP leader Anatol Lyabedzka added.