Scandalous news from Maskouski district of Minsk
In August the newspaper Vesti Moskovskogo Rayona, the printed organ of Maskouski district executive committee of Minsk, published two issues under the #5 (109). No, it was not just doubling of the officially stated circulation of 10 000 copies. Only the information ‘August 2008, #5 (109)’ and ‘circulation 10 000 copies’ can be found in both of them. On the other hand, the majority of the electors did not receive these numbers, despite such ‘doubling’. By the way, the information about the personnel of the constituency electoral commissions situated on the territory of this administrative district was published in one of these issues.
The first of the two, #5 (109) was ordered for printing on 11 August 2008, and the second – on 26 August 2008. They differ in the number of the printing order: order #1330 is for the first one and #1331 – for the second. Both issues feature agitation articles in support of pro-governmetanal candidates for the parliament, but of course different issues contain different articles. The issue of 11 August contains a ‘traditional’ report of an MP I.Karpenka who is running for another term at Yaseninskaya electoral constituency #100 and a ‘usual’ interview with S.Shylava (running at South-western electoral constituency #99). The issue of 26 August contains an article about the perspectives of Minsk car-repair factory which is headed by V.Taukachou (a candidate at Hrushauskaya electoral constituency #98). We can only guess about the reasons for which two issues were published under one number.
An inlay with the list of the precinct commissions at Hrushauskaya electoral constituency #98, South-western constituency #99 and Yaseninskaya constituency #100 is attached to the second issue. It is quite interesting that it does not have any imprint and the pages are not numbered. It seems that this inlay was issued ‘for restricted usage’, as it was in the case of a brochure with information about the personnel of electoral commissions. According to the information of the electors, the second issue was not distributed and even the first one was received only by a small number of people. We could not find the second issue even at Maskouski district executive committee of Minsk. That’s why the stated circulation of 10 000 copies seems doubtful, moreover that the edition contains no information about its cost or free-of-charge distribution.
In both issues violations of the electoral legislation can be found. First of all, it is early agitation for pro-governmental candidates.
Secondly, the terms for publication of the rulings of Maskouski DEC on establishment of precinct commissions are violated (the issue with the inlay was ordered for printing only on 26 August, whereas according to the electoral laws it was to have been done by 20 August).
Thirdly, in the first page of the inlay it is written that 99 precinct electoral commission for election to the Chamber of Representatives were established by ruling of Maskouski DEC #1276 of 22 July 2008. In the brackets there is a reference to paragraph 1 of ruling #1416 of 12 August 2008. It means that the precincts and the precinct electoral commissions in Maskouski district were established at the same time, which is also a violation of the Electoral Code.
Complaints concerning the found violations have been directed to the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus and to the Procuracy of the Republic of Belarus.
Human rights activists for free elections