Kapyl: Court decides not to consider complaint about violations in formation of commissions
On September 22nd the Judicial Board for civic cases of Minsk oblast court considered the complaint of BHC observer Viktar Dashkevich about the decision of Kapyl rayon court which refused to instigate civic proceedings about unlawfulness of decisions made by Kapyl rayon executive committee when forming precinct election commissions.
Let us remind you, BHC observer Viktar Dashkevich revealed, some precinct election commissions were formed with violation of the procedure set up by Article 35 of the Election Code. In particular, persons nominated by work collectives, who have no relation to those work collectives, were included in the commissions.
The prosecution bodies, where the original complaint had been submitted confirmed its validity and sent it to the rayon executive committee for correcting the violations. However, the executive committee, in violation of Article 36 of the Election Code, at first expelled the persons who were unlawfully included in the commissions, but later included them again using other methods of nomination. Meanwhile, the law allows including additional members in commissions but not the ones who have already compromised themselves by breaking the law.
These circumstances served as the ground to appeal to court. Refusing to start the proceedings, the court referred to the fact that the Election Code does not provide for appealing to court against decisions of executive bodies which formed election commissions. Really, the Election Code does not set up such a procedure. However, in this case the Constitution, the Law "About local self-governance", the Civic Code (Articles 11 and 12), and the Code of Civic Procedures (Articles 6, 335, 353-358) should be used.
Viktar Dashkevich and BHC representative Harry Pahaniayla also drew attention of the judges of the regional court to the fact that in its decisions and annual messages the Constitutional Court confirmed many times that citizens whose rights have been violated are entitled to appeal to courts and rely on court defense of their rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
It is obvious, unlawful formation of precinct election commissions infringes on the rights of voters and direct participants of the election process: candidates, their agents, observers etc. It is also clear, the only mechanism for defense of the rights and freedoms is the court. However, despite the obvious facts, the judicial board upheld the decision of Kapyl court, and did not satisfy Dashkevich’s complaint.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections