Courts dismiss complaints against non-inclusion of nominees in election commissions
Volha Abramovich, Judge of the Barysau town court, dismissed the complaint against the decision of the Barysau district executive committee and the Presidium of the Barysau district Soviet of Deputies on forming of the district territorial commission on elections to the local Soviets of deputies.
The plaintiffs asked the court to find this decision unlawful and oblige the Barysau DEC and the Presidium of the Soviet of Deputies to take a new decision on forming the election commission with including into it Maryna Statkevich as a representative of the electors living on the territory of the appropriate election constituency.
Forming of the Barysau district election commission took place without public control: neither Maryna Statkevich, nor the people who had nominated her to the commission, were informed about the place and the time of the appropriate sitting of the Barysau DEC and the Presidium of the Barysau DSD.
Nevertheless, Judge Abramovich dismissed the complaint, arguing that it had been lodged by just 2 out of the 10 persons who had nominated Maryna Statkevich to the commission.
The Zhlobin district court upheld the decision of the local authorities who hadn’t included Valiantsin Yauzrezau, representative of the Belarusian Party of United Leftists Fair World, in the Zhlobin district election commission.
The complaint was lodged by Valer Rybchanka, Chairperson of the Zhlobin organization of Fair World. At the trial, he pointed that representatives of political parties and civil associations must comprise at least 1/3rd of an election commission and, according to Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s public statements, it was done to give the opposition an opportunity to participate in the commissions. In fact, in the Zhlobin district election commission this 1/3rd consists of representatives of such pro-governmental organizations as the Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM).
V.Yauzrezau and Volha Yarashava, business manager of the district executive committee, were summoned to the trial as witnesses. According to V.Rybchanka, at the sitting of the Zlobin district executive committee and the Prezidium of the Zhlobin district Soviet of Deputies, Yarashava proposed not to include Yauzrezau in the commission as he could ‘destabilize its work’. At the trial Volha Yarashava denied having said it. Another officer of the executive committee, who participated in the trial as representative of the defendant, stated that Lukashenka’s statements were ‘voluntary’.
As a result, Judge Sviatlana Rubakhava decided that as long as the Election Code didn’t oblige the state organs to include representatives of opposition parties in election commissions, there were no legal grounds to reverse the decision on forming the Zhoobin district election commission and including Valiantsin Yauzrezau in it.
The Zhlobin organization of Fair World believes that such an approach makes senseless the aforementioned amendment to the Election Code, and intends to appeal the decision of the Zhlobin district court at the Homel oblast court.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections