Mahiliou: signatures were counted in absence of observers
The Mahiliou human rights defenders Barys Bukhel
and Aliaksei Kolchyn did not get to the sittings of the district election
commissions, where the count of the number of signatures in support of the
candidates for the presidency took place.
’On 29 October I took to the Kastrychnitski District Election Commission of Mahiliou the request to be informed about the time and place of the sitting of this commission’, said the human rights defender Barys Bukhel. ‘I was told that it would be held the following day, on 30 October, and I would be invited to it. However, as I learned in the morning, the members of the commission had already counted the signatures, in the evening of 29 October, after the end of the working hours.’
Barys Bukhel also notes that at the sitting of the Leninski District Election Commission of Mahiliou he was informed only about the number of the received signatures, the number of the signatures that were crossed out, and the number of signatures given by the people who aren’t residents of Mahiliou.
’I was given a written response that the committee invited me to the sitting for verification of signatures on 30 October. I came there, but had to watch a real show,’ says Barys Bukhel. ‘the commission members didn’t manage to count a part of the signatures in the evening of 29 October and continued this work in my presence. They showed me only the things they wanted to show, irrespective of my demands. I sat at a distance and couldn’t see almost anything. I only know that the numbers that were announced by the district election commission don’t meet the number of the signatures that were passed to it. They let me come and see signature sheets onl when they registered spoiled sheets.
When the commission members selected 20% of the signatures, I asked whether I could see the signature sheets they chose for the verification, and received a refusal. I wasn’t allowed to observe the verification of all selected signatures either.’
The human rights defender Aliaksei Kolchyn notes that his commission worked more ‘efficiently’ – they didn’t count anything in his present and just told him the figures.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections