Vitsebsk: practical implementation of ideas voiced by Secretary of Central Election Commission
On 16 February, a seminar-counsel for Chairpersons and Secretaries of territorial and constituency election commissions and Chairperson of ideological and personnel departments of the district and city executive commissions of the Vitsebsk oblast was held in Vitsebsk.
The event was attended by Mikalai Lazavik, Secretary of the Central Election Commission. The official stated the increased activity of parties in the present election campaign, but pointed that ‘after a detailed analysis we find out that during the nomination of representatives to the commissions some political parties cared about the statistics most of all, trying to nominate as many representatives as possible, without thinking whether the nominees were really able to work in the commissions.’
M. Lazavik expressed the opinion that during the nomination of candidates most attention should be paid to the ability of the people to work for the benefit of the citizens of their constituencies. On 17 February the election commissions and the authorities of the Vitsebsk oblast started implementing this idea in practice.
For instance, when 20-year-old Nastassia Smolikava, activist of the non-registered Belarusian Christian Party, came to the Orsha town election commission to get the certificates for members of her electoral team, members of the commission tried to persuade her to withdraw from the elections. They reproached her that she wasn’t a member of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union, was manipulated by adult oppositionists and she was running at the elections to earning money for it. They threatened that she wouldn’t be employed anywhere after graduation from the mechanical technical school where she is doing her last year.
The Vitsebsk city executive committee refused to accept the documents for registration of the initiative group of Maksim Anfilau, member of the Belarusian Christian Democracy. The commission members hinted him that there was no use for him to run for the city Soviet of Deputies being a worker (house-painted by speciality).
Mikhail Valasach, powerman of the construction bureau of the Lukoml hydropower station, decided to run for the Novalukoml town Soviet of Deputies and got his initiative group registered with the appropriate election commissions. Several days after it, he was summoned to the office of Ihar Dubovic, director of the hydropower station. The director advised Mr. Valasach to think twice before taking part in the elections.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections