Homel: procuracy upholds dismissal from work for oppositional pretender for candidate
One of the tendencies of electoral campaign’2008 is that potential candidates that are not nominated by the regime are threatened with dismissal from work or even dismissed. The law enforcing agencies usually close their eyes to such actions. One of the latest exampled is the reaction of the procuracy to the dismissal threats received by a pretender for candidate at Buda-Kashaliova constituency Kanstantsin Zhukouski.
On 21 July the director of the Interhran enterprise V.Minchanka summonsed K.Zhukouski, who had registered his initiative group and started collecting signatures for his candidacy. Minchanka told Zhukouski to revoke his application for registration of the initiative group or resign from work. He also referred to some ‘third persons’ who proposed that he held such a talk with his employee. Mr. Zhukouski considered such actions of ‘third persons’ as pressurization. He addressed Tsentralny district procuracy of Homel and asked to hold a check-up on this fact and punish the guilty.
The procuracy had to react to Zhukouski’s application. Here’s an excerpt from the answer, signed by the district procurator, senior justice advisor V.Yemialyianchanka: ‘The director of Interhran Minchanka was questioned and explained that there was no threats or pressurization from any third persons and that he could not say to you anything of the kind. As You are dealing with collection of signatures in support of your candidacy, Minchanka recommended that You should find another place of work, at which You could maintain Your activities as deputy without any harm to the main work. Thus, the conducted check-up revealed no facts of violation of the law on elections or labor or Your right to realize your electoral rights. There are no reasons for prosecutorial reaction.’
Lawyer and human rights activist Uladizmir Labkovich comments: ‘Pitifully enough, the procuracy took no measures of prosecutorial reaction, which it was to have done in this case. There is also a violation of the labor legislation, because participation in elections cannot be a reason for dismissal. It is also ridiculous to hear from a lawyer that Zhukouski was just proposed to change the job, which would let him more effectively implement his duties as a deputy. Zhukouski is not even a candidate for deputy yet. It is a pity that procurator Yemialyianenka does not know that according to the Belarusian laws an elected deputy cannot combine his activities as such with any other work except for educational or scientific. In my opinion, it is worth appealing to the oblast procuracy against the actions of the district procuracy.’
Human rights activists for free elections