Filing applications for registration of initiative groups is over: information from regions

2010 2010-02-19T19:26:07+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to the timing schedule of the elections, the period of filing applications for registration or initiative groups of pretenders to the local Soviets of Deputies, ended on 18 February in the evening. According to the law, registration of an initiative group is conducted during five days after receiving an application. Thus, it will end on 23 February.

The Vitsebsk opposition political structures (the Belarusian Popular Front, the For Freedom movement and the parties who haven’t obtained the state registration yet – the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Narodnaya Hramada, the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party and the Green Party) formed a total of 38 initiative groups for collection of signatures for their pretenders to the Vitsebsk city Soviet of Deputies, and 21 groups – for collection of signatures to the Vitsebsk oblast Soviet of Deputies.

The territorial commissions didn’t refuse to register any initiative groups of opposition pretenders. Members of the commissions demonstrated a tactful attitude towards oppositionists.

Among the opposition activists who became pretenders to candidates there are Kh.Zheliapau (For Freedom), K. Smolikau and L.Autukhou (BPF), A.Haurutsikau (BSDP Narodnaya Hramada), A.Aleksandronak (Part of Freedom and Progress). Former political prisoner Z.Parsiukevich, misses the current election campaign because of the outstanding conviction.

At present, members of the initiative groups receive appropriate documents that are necessary for collecting electors’ signatures in support of their pretenders. By the way, as a result of a mistake made by the Central Election Commission, the certificates of members of initiative groups don’t have a special place for putting the number of a particular initiative group, though this number must be put in the signature sheets.

Homel oblast
More than 2 600 initiative groups were registered in the Homel oblast. Most of them (more than 2 000) will collect signatures for pretenders to the village Soviets of Deputies, where it is necessary to collect just 20 signatures for registration of a candidate. Such activity of the initiative groups can be explained by the absence of large enterprises and organizations in the majority of villages, as a result of which candidates cannot be nominated by working collectives. 64 initiative groups were registered for collecting signatures for registration of candidates to the Homel oblast Soviet of Deputies.

The oblast organization of the Belarusian Popular Front Party intends to nominate pretenders in Homel, Svetlahorsk and Rechytsa – a total of six people. Two BPF members in Rechytsa and other two in Svetlahorsk intend to become candidates by collecting electors’ signatures.

Activists of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party and the For Freedom movement will also collect signatures for becoming candidates. Mikalai Kaliuka, activist of the Nash Dom civil campaign, is nominated to the Homel oblast Soviet of Deputies. He has already received the certificate about the registration of his initiative group.

So far, there haven’t been any applications from candidates from parties or working collectives in the Homel oblast. This situation will probably change by 15 March.

The Salihorsk district election commission received 36 applications for registration of initiative groups that will collect signatures for pretenders to candidates at the elections to the local Soviets of Deputies. Four of them were filed by independent candidates – Valer Shcherbin, Aliaksei Valabuyeu and the Yaumenenka brothers, Viktar and Aliaksandr.

The opposition party Far World will nominate pretenders from its local organization that is registered with the state. The majority of the political parties of the town intend to take part in the work of election commissions and monitor the elections. Thus, one can expect one-man race in a considerable part of the 40 constituencies in Salihorsk.

In Svetlahorsk district, three members of opposition parties decided to get nominated as candidates to deputies by collecting signatures. Two of them represent the BPF Party and one – the United Civil Party. Their initiative groups filed appropriate applications with the commission on elections to the Svetlahorsk district Soviet of Deputies.

18 February was the last day when the applications for the registration of initiative groups were passed. Why members of other parties didn’t show interest to nomination of candidates?

Vadzim Bolbas, one of the oldest BPF activists in Svetlahorsk, says: ‘The absence of such interest has two reasons. Firstly, there’s no transparency during the calculation of votes. Unlike the practice of other countries, according to the Election Code the observers don’t have the right to closely look at the ballots during the polling. Secondly, the local Soviets of Deputies have turned into practically unimportant organs.

None applications were filed in the Svetlahorsk region by the Fair World Party. Its activist Sviatlana Mikhalchanka, comments: ‘At present, the activity of an initiative group won’t bring any significant results. It is not allowed to distribute any information materials during collection of signatures. It is winter, that’s why one cannot collect signatures outdoors, though it is a good means to draw the public attention. That’s why we decided not to waste time collecting signatures. Instead, our members will be nominated by the local organization of the party. Besides, five members of our party participate in the work of the constituency commissions on elections to the Homel oblast Soviet of Deputies.’

Zhlobin district

In Zhlobin district, 13 applications were filed for registration of initiate groups on nomination of democratic activists as candidates to the local Soviets of Deputies.

As stated by Valer Rybchanka, Chairperson of the Zhlobin district organization of Fair World, representatives of the party filed 9 applications for nomination of candidates to the district Soviet of Deputies and 4 – to the Homel oblast Soviet. All applications were filed on 17 and 18 February.

’Nine initiative groups intend to nominate as candidates representatives of the Fair World Party. Seven persons will be nominated to the district Soviet of Deputies and two more – to oblast Soviet. The remaining four initiative groups will collect signatures for nomination of representatives of two activists of the United Civil Party to the district Soviet of Deputies and two more – to the oblast Soviet. Of course, all of them are running in different constituencies.’

As said by Mr. Rybchanka, the Zhlobin activists of the democratic opposition decided that nomination of candidates by collection of signatures gave at least minimal possibility for familiarization of electors with the future candidates. However, these very pretenders will be also nominated by the local organizations of their parties, which is allowed by the Election Code.

15 representatives of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Party intend to run in Babruisk. This is the largest number among all political parties in this town. At first, they intended to nominate 16 candidates, but later one woman had to refuse because of pressurization at work.

Just one person is running from the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada. ‘I don’t believe that any democrats will be admitted to the local Soviet of Deputies, but it is an important political process we shouldn’t miss,’ says Yury Hryniavetski, Chairperson of the Babruisk organization of the BSDP Hramada.

Mikhail Kavalkou, Chairperson of the Free Trade Union of Belarus, always participates in elections. ‘I will do it again, because I want to deliver truth to the electors in my electoral leaflets. I challenge the ideologist of my plant – Piatro Slabadchuk. I will run at the same constituency with him,’ says Mr. Kavalkou.

Mikhhail Larchanka, 23, a Babruisk journalist, decided to take part in the elections as a ‘socio-political experiment’.

Following the non-inclusion of members of the Babruisk town organization of the BPF Party
in the town commission and constituency commissions, they adopted a statement about non-participation in the elections and stated that there was no use participation in this election farce.

Members of the Babruisk organization of Fair World also decided not to participate in the elections as candidates. At the same time, three members of the organization became members of the oblast election commission.

According to preliminary information, 45 pretenders to candidates filed with the Baranavichy territorial election commission their applications for registration of initiative groups. On 25 April 2010, 36 deputies will be elected to the Baranavichy city Soviet of Deputies.

Ryhor Hryk, activist of the For Freedom movement, former candidate to the Chamber of Representatives, filed application for registration of his initiative group.

He also filed with the Baranavichy-Uskhodniaya constituency election commission #17 an application for registration of the initiative group that will collect signatures for his nomination as a candidate to the Brest oblast Soviet of Deputies. Mikalai Charnavus filed analogical application with the Baranavichy-Zakhodniaya constituency election commission #21.

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections