Minsk district authorities remove ban on collecting signatures in hospitals and schools
The Minsk District Executive Committee adopted two rulings containing the list of the places that were banned for electoral picketing. Both of them were published at its website, www.mrik.gov.by. The second ruling was adopted in a week after the first one and contains important changes.
The first ruling was adopted on 23 September on the basis of Article 65, part 4 and Article 61, part 9 of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus and a telegram of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee of 21 September, whereas the second ruling of the Minsk DEC, dated 30 September, contains no references to the regional executive committee. The latter document annuls the prohibition on collecting signatures at a distance less than 200 meters from underground pedestrian crossings and at a distance less than 50 meters from public transport enterprises and the institutions that were responsible for water, heating and energy supply.
Thus, in the Minsk district signatures can be collected not only in suburban trains or the few underground pedestrian crossings that are located in 1-3 kilometers from Minsk. One can hold electoral pickets in hospitals, schools, kindergartens and all large institutions except for the local councils.
Pitifully enough, the activity of members of all electoral teams but Lukashenka’s is almost zero in the Minsk district. In the majority of its villages signatures are collected for him by officers of village councils, though many residents of the district are reluctant to sign for him. At the same time, many of them are unable or unwilling to go to Minsk just to sign in support of an oppositional candidate.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections