CEC Chair sees no need in regulating vote count procedures
On 9 April, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee addressed the Central Election Commission with a demand for explanations on the process of vote count by each member of the election commission, since the Electoral Code fails to specify the manes of vote count, neither does it provide for the distribution of responsibilities between the members of the commission during the count.
According to BHC observers, separate commissioners would normally process a limited part of the ballots, then submitting the results to the commission chair. However, such practice does not enable all the commission members to observe the overall process of vote counting and therefore have no right to sign the final minutes.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee believes that in such a case the collective nature of the election commission stated by the Electoral Code is being violated. According to the BHC lawyers, the necessary level of transparency could be secured only in case each commissioner took part in the overall vote count, thus being able to examine each ballot with voters’ signs.
On 15 April the BHC received a reply from the CEC Chair Lidzia Yarmoshyna. The letter says that ‘the issue… does not require any detailed regulation…, since it is addressed to by each commission with respect to amounts of work, number voters and commission members, work experience… and so on.’
The Commission’s treatment of the key election procedure of vote count is appalling, for it is the CEC’s primary duty to secure the conduct of a fair election.
‘Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections’