Central electoral commission does not regard numerous publications about pro-regime candidates as early agitation
The state media started publishing articles about the merits of the state officials who intended to run for the parliament, without waiting for the official registration of candidates for the parliament. Their ‘bright images’ were promoted for the readers already before the official registration of their candidacies and the beginning of the official state of agitation. As far as there were many such publications in the state mass media, the CEC received many addresses concerning early agitation.
In particular, a human rights activist Pavel Levinau received an answer to his address to the CEC concerning facts of preliminary agitation for the pro-governmental pretenders Viktar Auchynnikau and Uladzimir Andreichanka. In the answer it is said that the Supervisory board on control of execution of the order and rules for holding of pre-electoral agitation in mass media found that the material which contained an interview with the main medic of Vitsebsk oblast clinical hospital (published on 7 August in Vecherni Vitebsk newspaper) was an editorial task for Close-up column and was timed to the tenth anniversary of Auchynnikau’s work as the main medic of Vitsebsk oblast clinical hospital. Bear in mind, that Auchynnikau was registered as a candidate at Vitsebsk-Chkalauskaya constituency #18 only on 28 August.
The Supervisoury board also stated that interviews with the head of Vitsebsk oblast executive committee Andreichanka were regularly published in the newspapers of Minsk oblast. They were traditional and were prepared by workers of the ideological department, and in 2007 he had 13 interviews with different mass media including newspapers and magazines. However, the answer says nothing about the number of such interviews this year. Mr. Andreichanka was registered as a candidate at Hlybokaye constituency #22.
What concerns early agitation for the pretenders Henadz Hrytskevich and Piatro Yuzhyk, the Supervisory board wrote to Levinau that the article in Vitbichi newspaper by which the readers were informed about a scheduled reception of citizens by the head of Vitsebsk city soviet of deputies Hrytskevich and an interview with the deputy head of Vitsebsk oblast executive committee Yuzhyk in Narodnaye Slova newspaper did not contain any agitation.
The CEC also failed to find any violations of the electoral laws in the article about Alexander Lasiakin, which had been published in Vitbichi. Lasiakin, director of Vitsebsk state technical college, was registered as a candidate at Vitsebsk-Kastrychnitskaya constituency #20.
The address concerning early agitation for Siarhei Siamashka was first forwarded for consideration by the electoral commission of Vitsebsk Chyhunachnaya constituency #19. The head of this commission Ivan Rytsko informed Pavel Levinau that the publication of an article about Siamashka in Vitsbichi’s issue for 2 August was not pre-electoral agitation.
Human rights activists for free elections