Vitebsk: Tsiany-Talkay pop group promotes official candidates
On September 16th Vitsbichy newspaper (founded by Vitebsk city executive committee), # 107 reports about performance of Tsiany-Talkay pop group at an election event. The event was held by candidates running in Kastrychnitski rayon districts: Vitebsk-Chyhunachnaya district # 19 (official candidate Siarhei Siamashka) and Vitebsk-Kastrychnitskaya district # 20 (official candidate Andrei Lasiakin).
We quote the newspaper article which appeared on the front page: “This evening was presented to young people by incumbent member of the Chamber of Representatives Siarhei Siamashka and councilor of Vitebsk city council Alexander Lasiakin”.
In fact, they violated the Election Code (Article 47 part 2), which says: “Candidates, their agents, organizations and persons promoting them, do not have the right to give out presents”.
The article says, rectors of three Vitebsk higher educational establishments located in the rayon, helped candidates Siamashka and Lasiakin in organizing the present.
The Election Code (Article 47, part 3) obliges the district election commissions to take measures in order to stop abuse of the right to campaign, including cancellation of candidates’ registration. Article 49 (part 5) entitles the election commissions to cancellation of candidates’ registration without prior notice for violation of Article 47 of the Election Code. However, district election commissions of districts # 19 and 20 shut their eyes at violations by official candidates.
Besides that, Vitsbichy newspaper did not report that Tiany-Talkai gave a free concert (although it was free for voters). A concert by a group of that class costs a lot. Most likely, the concert was financed by the candidates themselves or rectors of three universities. This is a serious violation of Article 48 part 9: “Political parties, other NGOs, organizations, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, do not have the right to render other financial support in preparation and organization of the elections besides contribution of money to the special election fund”.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections