Central Election Commission asks Ministry of Defense to give F.Viachorka furloughs for electoral campaigning
Frantsishak Viachorka, candidate for the Mazyr district Council of Deputies, received an answer from Lidziya Yarmoshyna to his complaint to the Central Election Commission.
The CEC Chairperson informs him that the Law On the status of military men doesn’t contain any provisions concerning furloughs to those who perform compulsory military service and are registered as candidates for local Councils of Deputies.
At the same time, as it follows from the letter, ‘the Central Election Commission addressed the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus with the request to give the appropriate instructions to the administration of military unit #48694 about providing You with short-term furloughs for realization of canvassing.’ Then Yarmoshyna unambiguously reminds that electoral meetings can be conducted by a candidate’s proxies.
The candidate welcomed the quick reaction of the Central Election Commission. ‘It’s also good that they obliged Veranika Baikova, secretary of the Mazyr election commission to grant my application for register more proxies, which she had refused to do earlier.
’However, the CEC evades from giving a direct answer whether I have a right to vacations under Article 77 of the Election Code. Of course, the Law On the status of military men and the Election Code say nothing about the rest for military servants in connection with their participation in elections. However, it means that more general norms, including the constitutional ones, enter into action: about the equality of citizens before the law and the equal rights, in which I am restricted now. If I am a registered candidate, I must have the same rights as my rival.’
F.Viachorka is convinced that the short furloughs in the middle of the day (with the ever present ensign as a convoy) can’t replace the everyday with the electors, most of whom come home in the evening, meetings with working collectives, etc. By the way, on Thursday the deputy commandant on ideology of Viachorka’s battalion didn’t let him to the election commission.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections