‘Elections’ in Shklou district

2008 2008-10-02T19:44:38+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At some polling stations of Shklou district up to 70% of voters took part in early voting. Members of commissions took ballot boxes to the villages.

A Candidate of Economic Sciences, a member of district commission in Shklou constituency #90 Piatro Mihurski shared his impressions about the election with Narodnaya Volia:

‘On the voting day at some polling stations members of commissions started to visit villages with ballot boxes even before polling stations opened. For instance, together with a candidate for deputy of the Belarusian Popular Front party Ryhor Kostuseu, who ran in Shklou constituency, we arrived to the village of Tudarava at 8.40 a.m., and persons with ballot boxes were already leaving the village. In Ryzhkavichy lists of voters who need voting at home were printed out at 8.10 a.m., though the procedure of finding such voters is not a matter of a few minutes: each of them should be at least phones first, and then put on the list.

On the eve of the ‘election’, on Saturday, we with Kostuseu visited the village of Shnarauka, and asked the locals, how they will take part in the elections. ‘The election will come to us’, the peasants were joking. ‘We never go to the polling station, we vote here, where we live’. It may seem a trifle, but it eloquently shows how the elections were organized in Belarus. And in general, it should be noted that there up to 50% (!) of voters in our constituency voted in advance, and this figure was 70% at some polling stations. For instance, in Tudarava 76% of voters took part in the early vote.

-- And how the vote was taking place in the Soviet co-operative farm Haradzets where Lukashenka was a director once?

- I personally was present at the vote count. The electorate in this settlement is heterogeneous. I would say it has protest mood. However, ballot boxes taken to the houses of voters of the Election Day were opened in my presence. When the ballot box from the village of Khaduly was opened, there were no votes in support of the BPF candidate Kostuseu, no votes in the village of Putniki, null votes in the village of Haradzets. The same result of the early vote: only 2 persons had voted in support of the oppositional candidate over the five days of voting! Undoubtedly, such results are putting me on the guard, as I know moods of the people in this region.

But the most interesting thing was later.

As a member of the election commission in Shklou constituency #90 after the vote and vote count finished in precinct commissions, I received documents from chairmen of commissions: a seal, lists of voters and ballots. The secretary of the commission was sitting beside and received final protocols. And suddenly I see: a member of one of the commissions gives her 4 protocols, though there should be 2 of them at maximum. To say the truth, I hadn’t expected such obvious violations would take place in my presence. A member of the commission in the village of Alexandria (the president’s native village) enters and gives two protocols, but one is empty, and the other is filled by a lead pencil. However the both documents are already signed by all members of the precinct election commissions. I managed to seize these protocols, and I warned the chair of the district commission Zoya Beliasava that I would have to quit the district commission if the same repeats. The words were hardly out of my mouth when the protocol of the commission #10 from the village of Bushliaki was received, and these were blank protocols, without any figures, and again signed by all members of the commission. I understood it was a system: blank protocols are received by the district commission from precinct commissions.

Immediately I wrote an application to leave the district commission, I seized the protocols as a proof, and told that I refuse to sin the protocol of the district commission.

- Is it possible to say in this case that the election in Shklou election district was valid?

- The final protocol is to be signed by all members of the district commission. If somebody disagrees, he or she should write an explanation, a dissenting opinion. But as soon as I saw the total falsification taking place, I refused to be a member of such a commission at all, I didn’t want dirty to my name. I took a picture of these protocols. In Mahiliou we held a press-conference. The OSCE representatives were preset at it. I wrote n application to the republican and regional prosecutor’s office, to the Central Election Commission.

The same day I called the secretary of the CEC Mikalai Lazavik personally, and informed him about that. But it hasn’t stopped the CEC from announcing at 10 p.m. for the whole country that the chairman of Shklou regional executive committee Valery Ivanou was elected the deputy of Shklou election district.

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