UCP member put before ultimatum

2010 2010-03-02T23:42:10+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The administration of the Mineral Wax Plant in the village of Svislach (the Pukhavichy district, the Minsk oblast) told to one of the employees: either you work or run in the elections.

Yauhen Yakimenka, a young specialist and member of the United Civil Party, was assigned to work at the plant 18 months ago. On 17 February he applied to the Svislach Soviet of Deputies, the Pukhavichy district Soviet and the Minsk oblast Soviet for registration of initiative groups to run in the 26th local elections.

‘I registered the initiative groups and was going to run for the three councils’, Yauhen Yakimenka said. On 23 February, the director, who knows my political views, called me. He made a long speech about the role of the state in well-being of citizens and then delivered an ultimatum – ‘either you work or you run in elections’. My friend, who works at the same plant and plans to work in my initiative groups, had a similar conversation.’

The activist is vulnerable to pressure in this case. Yauhen Yakimenka will have either to dismiss on own will and pay about 6–7 million of rubles for broken assignment, or will be fired for two warnings, which can be issued easily. The guy will be evicted from the hostel and thus will lose the right to run for the rural and district councils. Having weighed all the pros and cons, Yauhen Yakimenka had to give up running in the elections.

‘I would be happy to dismiss, but even in this case I won’t win, I won’t be able to run in the elections’, Yauhen Yakimenka said. ‘There’s no point in filing complaints, it will bring no success’.

The UCP member of the only democrat in the Pukhavichy district who was going to run in the elections.