Svetlahorsk: information about elections available only by subscription
In Svetlahorsk district, official information about the preparation to the elections to the local Soviets of Deputies is published in the state-owned newspapers that are distributed only by subscription. The electors who aren’t subscribed to these newspapers can find them only in the libraries.
The Election Code provides the obligatory publication of basic information on elections in press. In particular, the state organs must publish information about the establishment of election commissions, lists of election constituencies and precincts, information about the registration of candidates, etc., so that electors could timely familiarize with the preparation to and holding the elections.
The district newspaper Svetlahorskiya Naviny is published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The editions published on Tuesdays aren’t sold at newsstands and are distributed only by subscription. The present situation is similar to the elections 2008, when official information was also published in the editions that were distributed only subscription.
Formally, the provisions of the Election Codes are implemented, but electors cannot go to libraries all the time, especially in villages. The local democratic activists believe that limitation of access to information about the elections is one of the reasons for the public indifference to them.
In many countries information for electors is put on the web, whereas in Belarus such measures aren’t even discussed on the local level. Though the state press and officials of Salihorsk district have their websites, but official information about the elections is not put there.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections