Mahiliou: Black PR used against independent candidate Aliaksei Paulouski
During two days the initiative group of Aliaksei Paulouski collected 140 signatures. However, the candidate experiences strong counteraction of the authorities in this process.
During signature collection Aliaksei Paulouski encountered an extra-ordinary situation which repeated many times later. It turned out, residents of some apartment buildings refused to put their signatures in his support. They explained, principal of secondary school # 33 Mr. Nikifarenka gathered parents’ meetings before the election campaign began. During the meetings he informed the parents and school children, that Aliaksei Paulouski was a sponger, who didn’t work for 2 years and lived off children’s allowances. The school principal especially stressed that it was not worth voting for such a person.
“I also faced a similar case in the area of secondary school # 26 in Budaunikou Street, where school principal Makarchykau and teacher of Russian language told high school students in the end of the school year to persuade their parents not to support me”, -- the candidate says.
Paulouski filed a complaint to the prosecutor’s office. The complaint was signed by 10 parents of school children. However, both court and the prosecutor’s office refused to consider the complaint. They claimed the facts were not proved, as the prosecutor’s office staff had a conversation with the school principal who said he had done nothing like that. For some reason, the prosecutor’s office forgot to interrogate the witnesses of the principal’s statements.
“I am very upset, -- Aliaksei says. – I really was unemployed for some time. But I did not live off the children’s allowances. I won 10 trials on my unlawful dismissal, and the construction company, my former employer, paid compensation to me for 2 years. Besides that, I own a piece of land, where I work all the time”.
Aliaksei is full of optimism and sees black PR as a good sign – the authorities are concerned because they see a potential MP in him. He is not going to give up.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections