Homel: probability of withdrawal of candidates of United Democratic Forces is very high
The Homel coalition of the United Democratic Forces reserves the right to withdraw its candidates if the authorities don’t include its representatives in precinct election commissions. The potential UDF candidates stated it at the press conference that was held on 4 March in Homel.
Vasil Paliakou, Chairperson of the Homel oblast organization of the United Civil Party, emphasized that the probability of withdrawing the candidates was very high, because the experience of all previous elections shows that opposition activists are included in precinct election commissions on very rare occasions.
’Real elections haven’t been conducted in our country for many years already. There is also an imitation of elections. The experience shows that even if we visit all electors and 90% will vote for us, the regimes protégées will become deputies,’ believes Vasil Paliakou. He stated that members of his party are nominated as candidates by the party and by collecting electors’ signatures (as it was done by Marat Afanasiieu from Zhlobin). Some of them have already passed documents for registration of their candidacies.
About 40 representatives of the United Civil Party, a similar number of representatives of the Belarusian Party of United Leftists Fair World and ten members of the movement For Freedom are going to run for the Soviets of Deputies of different levels.
Uladzimir Siakerka, the leader of the Homel organization of the Belarusian Party of United Leftists Fair World, stated that there was no use collecting signatures in the circumstances that were created by the authorities:
’We are allowed to hold pickets only in lonely places and it is prohibited to do it in populous ones. However, some members of our party collect the signatures – they are interested in the process, not the result. What concerns my assessment of the electoral process, I would put ‘2’ by five-grade system to the authorities for the formation of the territorial commissions, because only several of our representatives were included in them. ‘3 with a minus’ can be put or the process of formation of the constituency commissions: only 40% of the UDF representatives were included in them,’ commented Mr. Siakerka.
He stated that the party had registered a number of attempts to pressurize members of the election commissions, potential candidates and members of their families. In particular, a member of the party was made to withdraw from the elections under the threat of dismissal from work. At the same time, members of the coalition and the movement For Freedom say that no obstacles were put to them during the collection of signatures.
The representatives of the coalition who were included in the constituency election commissions also stated their intention to nominate their candidacies and said they would stop working in the commissions if they were registered as candidates for local Deputy Soviets.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections