Vitsebsk region: canvassing opportunities vary

2010 2010-04-23T19:21:44+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Canvassing for voters is underway. However, the results of these activities to a considerable degree depend on the candidates’ political affiliations.

Aliaksandr Kuzniatsou, activist of the Belarusian Popular Front, running for the Vitsebsk Regional Council, was detained by the police for alleged posting of canvassing leaflets in a place, not specified by the city authorities. Mr. Kuzniatsou was charged with violating Article 21.14 of the Civil Code (violation of regulations for settlement maintenance) and may face a fine of up to BYR 875,000.

It was not until the local opposition candidate Heorhi Stankevich submitted a complaint to the Central Election Commission that the decision by Beshankovichy election commission imposing a ban on the candidate’s radio address was reversed. Mr. Stanekvich’s address will be broadcast on 24 April, on the last day of the election campaign.

On the other hand, the loyal candidates have used abundant canvassing opportunities – first of all, the local public press.

The latest issue of the ‘Vitvichi’ newspaper advertised Valery Bashmetau and Aliaksandr Shchuchko, holding high executive posts and running for the Vitsebsk Regional Council.

The opposition candidates, including ‘Just World’ members Aliaksandr Vinahradau and Siarhei Tratsiakou, have been deprived of any opportunities to address their voters through state-run media.

 ‘Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections’