Brest city election commission demonstrates weird understanding of transparency
Human rights defender Uladzimir Vialichkin, an observer at the Brest city election commission, addressed the duty officials of the commission with the request to look through the protocols of its sittings. By this time the commission had already adopted a number of decisions including the determination of boundaries of precincts, expenditures of members of the commissions and categories of such expenditures. The state assigns the financial means for elections from the taxes that are paid by its citizens. That’s why the latter ones have the right to know how these means are used by election commissions.
However, the human rights defender was denied familiarization with the protocol and told that he had only the right to attend the sittings, but not to hold a revision. The talk continued, and somewhat later a member of the commission showed to Mr. Vialichkin the folder with the protocols. However, the folder was snatched out of the observer’s hands when he tried to read what was written in the protocols. He was also deprived of the opportunity to write out any excerpts from the protocols.
Referring to these facts, Uladzimir Vialichkin states that the principle of transparency and the civil right to receive information about elections remain on paper in Belarus, whereas their practical implementation is maximally restricted.
The rights of observers and the actions that are prohibited to them are set out in Article 13 of the Election Code of Belarus. In particular, observers have no right to ‘create obstacles to the normal work of election commissions’. Thus, any unwanted actions of an observer can be qualified as hampering the work of a commission.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections