Minsk oblast: observers are prevented from getting information about formation of precinct commissions

2008 2008-08-15T18:49:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 12 August the district executive committees of Minsk oblast held their sittings on formation of precinct electoral commissions on elections to the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly. Observers from the Belarusian Helsinki Committee sent in advance official requirements for their admission to the sittings of Salihorsk, Kapyl, Slutsk, Kletsk and Niasvizh district executive commissions.

Observer Viktar Dashkevich was admitted to the sitting of Kapyl DEC. As he said, the executive committee formed the precinct electoral commissions just for 15 minutes. It means that the head of the executive committee proposed that the sitting participants voted for the lists of commissions’ members which had been prepared in advance. There was no consideration of the applications for nomination to precinct commissions. In fact, these applications were not even read at the sitting. The observer asked to be shown these papers, but received a refusal. Then the sitting finished.

Observer Aleh Nikulin was also admitted to the sitting of Kapyl DEC. Fifteen minutes after its beginning he asked to be shown the minutes for nomination of candidacies to the precinct commissions and the candidates’ applications for it. The reaction of the executive committee was quite interesting – the sitting was declared closed and the observer was expelled from it.

Observer Kazimir Kavetski was not admitted to the sitting of Salihorsk DEC. He was not even given the complaint book in which he intended to put a complaint against the illegal actions of the committee’s officers. Then Mr. Kavetski addressed the procurator of Salihorsk district and demanded that he reacted to the refusal of the DEC officers to give him the complaint book.

Niasvizh DEC refused to inform observer Uladzimir Paklonski about the place and time of its sitting on forming of precinct commissions. Later he found that this sitting was held on 12 August.

Observer Viktar Amialkovich was not informed about the place and date of the sitting of Slutsk DEC either. Moreover, while he was at Slutsk DEC on 12 August, he managed to find out that the sitting was conducted at the time. He asked to tell him the number of the room where it was held, but received a refusal. After the end of the sitting Mr. Amialkovich asked to give him information about the personnel of the commissions. Instead he was told that his powers as an observer concerned only the actions of Slutsk district electoral commission, where he had been registered as an observer, but not decisions of the district executive committee. He was also told that he could receive information the information about members of precinct commissions from the local state media.

Human rights activists for free elections