Homel coalition of United Democratic Forces withdraws from elections
The Homel coalition of the United Democratic Forces (the Belarusian Party of Leftists Fair World and the United Civil Party) withdraws its candidates from the elections. This decision was taken by the council of the Homel regional UCP organization and the Homel regional committee of the Fair World. However, three members of each party continue running in the electoral race.
Vasil Paliakou, Chairperson of the Homel regional UCP organization, and Uladzimir Siakerka, Chairperson of the Homel regional organization of the Fair World, state that these elections aren't free. The amendments that were introduced in the election legislation weren't used in practice, and there's a minimal representation of members of political parties in precinct commission (only 22 out of the proposed 211 nominees were included in them). Mr. Siakerka also emphasized that activists of the parties were pressurized at all stages of the campaign by heads of their enterprises and the local authorities.
At the same time, representatives of the unregistered party Belarusian Christian Democracy, the Belarusian Green Party and the movement For Freedom state their intention to continue taking part in the elections. For instance, Yury Hlushakou, Deputy Chairperson of the Belarusian Green Party, is running for the city council. He was a deputy of the city council of the 24th Convocation and was elected to it in the same constituency.
101 candidates were nominated by parties in the Homel region. 35 of them – by Fair World (15 of which are running for the regional council) and 51 – by the United Civil Party.
The majority of the election constituencies will become non-alternative after the withdrawal of the UDF candidates. For instance, in Salihorsk there will be left 4 candidates for the regional council in 4 constituencies and 42 candidates for the district council at 40 councils.
What concerns the constituencies for elections to the Homel city council, only 13 out of 40 have more than one candidate, whereas 27 are non-alternative. In 46 out of 60 constituencies for elections to the Homel regional council the elections will be non-alternative as well.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections