Central Election Commission denies that campaign team of Aliaksandr Lukashenka violated the electoral law
civil activists Mikita Krasnou and Viachaslau Dziyanau
received from the CEC a response to their complaint concerning the use of administrative resources for
collecting signatures in support of nomination Aliaksandr Lukashenka a
candidate for president. In particular, they pointed out that students of
Belarusian University of Informatics and Radio Electronics had to stand in
Lukashenka’s electoral pickets during their study time, and their work was
‘supervised’ by a the member of Lukashenka’s campaign team Aliaksandr Khmyl,
the university provost on education. The CEC Chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna
considers this complaint groundless.
Among other things, in her reply the CEC chairperson stated that Article 73 of the Electoral Code ‘prohibits candidates for President to involve people who are their subordinates or are in any other official dependence, in the implementation of any activities that foster the nomination of a candidate. A.A.Khmyl doesn’t possess such a status. Thus, he has the right to invite students for participation in electoral pickets.’
According to L.Yarmoshyna, the fact that the collection of signatures was carried out by students during their study hours, since 11.00 a.m. till 3 p.m., ‘cannot serve as evidence that they missed classes, as the free time is determined by the schedules of classes that differ for different faculties and groups of students’. However, the CEC doesn’t tell whether the schedules of the students whom Krasnou and Dziyanau had seen at the pickets were checked.
The CEC also doesn’t give any evaluation or commentaries to the fact that Mr. Khmyl stood in the picket during his working hours. By the way, during the consideration of the preliminary complaint by the Minsk City Election Commission on 23 October, the provost confirmed that he wasn’t on vacation, but was ‘away on business’. He also claimed that, the students hadn’t filled signatures lists in his absence.
At the end of the answer, the CEC Chairperson stated that ‘the collection of signatures by members of campaign teams, including in the form of pickets, allows the participation in this procedure of other citizens together with the member of the campaign team. These people can render assistance in filling the signature sheets.’
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections