Verification of signatures (more information from regions)
On 8 November the Bialynichy District Election Commission held a sitting to sum up the results of the verification of signatures in support of the potential candidates for President of Belarus.
The commission verified 20% of the signatures in support of Ryhor Kastusiou, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Aliaksei Mikhalevich, Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Viktar Rymasheuski and Andrei Sannikau. There were no problems with signatures of all candidates except from Mr. Mikhalevich. As a result the commission declared valid 116 signatures in support of Ryhor Kastusiou, 4,441 – in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, 150 – in support of Uladzimir Niakliayeu, 99 – in support of Vital Rymasheuski and 24 – in support of Andrei Sannikau.
What concerns the 65 signatures that had been collected in support of Aliaksei Mikhalevich, at first the commission verified 13 of them. 2 out of these 13 (15.4%) were found invalid. According to the law, the commission annuls the signatures in support of a candidate if more than 15% of his signatures that are chosen for verification are invalid. As a result, the commission chose for verification one more signature list with 10 signatures, and 4 out of these 10 were also found invalid. That’s why the commission unanimously voted for the cessation of the verification of Mikhalevich’s signatures and annulling all of them.
According to the observer Barys Vyrvich, it must be members of the campaign team of Aliaksei Mikhalevich who had filled the signature sheets with the information that didn’t meet the reality.
The Maladechna District Election Commission also presented the results of the verification of the signatures on 8 November. According to the official information, the commission had received for verification signatures in support of Ryhor Kastusiou, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Aliaksei Mikhalevich, Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Yaraslau Ramanchuk, Vital Rymasheuski, Andrei Sannikau and Viktar Tsiareshchanka.
As it was discovered as a result of the first verification of signatures, 16.1% out of the 20% signatures that were chosen for the verification in support of Viktar Tsiareshchanka were found invalid. The second verification of the signatures in his support increased the percent to 17.3. As a result, the commission annulled all signatures for Mr. Tsiareshchanka.
By the way, doubts about the validity of Tsiareshchanka’s signatures were expressed by the human rights defender Eduard Balanchuk before the beginning of the verification: it was quite suspicious to him that just about 15 signatures were passed to the commission several days before the end of the collection of signatures, and on the last day it was announced that 1,391 people had signed in support of VIktar Tsiareshchanka.
What concerns other candidates, the commission found invalid 9.7% of signatures in support of Yaraslau Ramanchuk and 0.2% - in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka.
The appropriate sitting of the Kalinkavichy District Election Commission was held on 8 November as well.
As stated by the observer at the Kalinkavichy DEC Dzianis Rabianok, the commission received 422 signatures in support of Viktar Tsiareshchanka. 82 out of the 84 signatures that were chosen for the first verification were found invalid. For the second verification this result was even worse – 63 out of 63 signatures. The main violations included putting fictitious signatures on behalf of non-existent electors, taking signatures from under-aged and putting wrong passport data in the signature lists. As a result, the commission had to declare invalid all signatures in support of Mr. Tsiareshchanka.
The verification of the signatures put in favor of Vital Rymasheuski followed the same scenario. 130 out of the 130 signatures chosen for the first verification (and 98 out of 98 – for the second one) were found invalid. The violations resembled that of the campaign team of Viktar Tsiareshchanka. By the way, many data in the signature lists of the both candidates matched. Moreover, the commission received several applications from citizens whose surnames stood in the signature lists – they insisted that they hadn’t singed in support of Rymasheuski. As a result, the commission also annulled all signatures in his support.
Compare: just 7 out of 654 signatures in support of Uladzimir Niakliayeu were found invalid, all 58 signatures for Andrei Sannikau and all 43 signatures for Aliaksei Mikhalevich were found valid by the commission, as well as all 6,818 signatures in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka.
The Slonim DEC summed up the results of the verification of the passed signatures the same day. Observer Ivan Sheha was admitted to the appropriate sitting.
As a result of the verification of the signatures the commission declared valid 717 out of 800 signatures in support of Ryhor Kastusiou, 373 out of 400 signatures in support of Aliaksei Mikhalevich, 1,633 out of 1,726 signatures for Uladzimir Niakliayeu, 3,087 out of 3,206 – for Vital Rymasheuski, 1,084 out of 1,114 – for Yaraslau Ramanchuk, 756 out of 781 – for Andrei Sannikau and 11 out of 14 – for Mikalai Statkevich.
At the same time, only 5 out the 5,669 signatures in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka were found invalid by the commission.
The Tsentralny, the Kastrychnitski, the Frunzenski, the Zavadski and the Leninski district election commissions of Minsk didn’t annul signatures of any candidates: only the Partyzanski DEC annulled signatures in support of Viktar Tsiareshchanka.
According to observer Valiantsina Sviatskaya, the matter was that members of his campaign team often put personal number of military officers instead of the numbers of their military IDs or passports.
There’s another interesting moment: some time ago the member of the Minsk City Election Commission Halina Siamdzianava paid a visit to the Kastrychnitski DEC where she was told that Dzmitry Us had about 600 doubtful signatures. However, later the commission declared that only 31 signatures for Mr. Us were invalid.
According to the official information, the Rechytsa DEC received more than 14.5 thousand signatures in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, 1,883 – for Uladzimir Niakliayeu, 417 – for Mikalai Statkevich, 299 – for Andrei Sannikau, 297 – for Ryhor Kastusiou, 86 – for Aliaksei Mikhalevich, 64 – for Dzmitry Us, 24 – for Yaraslau Ramanchuk and 24 – for Vital Rymasheuski.
On 8 November the Rechytsa DEC held a sitting to announce the results of the verification of the signatures. According to observer Valery Putsitski, the commission found invalid all signatures in support of V.Rymasheuski and Dz.Us. The signatures in support of Mr. Us were annulled as people denied having put signatures in his support. What concerns Vital Rymasheuski, all signatures were annulled after 5 out of 24 signatures in his support had been found invalid.
Polatsk Town Election Commission received about 2,300 signatures in support of Aliaksei Mikhalevich, more than 2,000 – for Uladzimir Niakliayeu, about 800 – for Andrei Sannikau, about 400 – for Yaraslau Ramanchuk and about 300 – for Vital Rymasheuski.
The number of invalid signatures in support of these candidates was insignificant. On the other hand, the commission had to hold an additional verification of the signatures of Mikalai Statkevich and Dzmitry Us.
The largest number of signatures, 14,000 was collected in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka.
On 8 November the Salihorsk DEC held a sitting to announce the results of the verification of signatures. The sitting became scandalous, as all signatures in support of Aliaksei Mikhalevich, Uladzimir Niakliayeu, Andrei Sannikau and Dzmitry Us were annulled by the election commission.
According to the announced information, the commission found invalid 14.49% out of 2,534 signatures in support of Viktar Tsiareshchanka, 2 out of 9,206 – for Aliaksandr Lukashenka, 37 out of 1,269 (14.74%) – for Mikalai Statkevich and 22 out of 4,130 – for Yaraslau Ramanchuk. All 59 signatures for Vital Rymasheuski were found valid.
However, signatures in support of the favorites of the electoral race were declared invalid. As a result of an additional check-up of the signatures in support of Aliaksei Mikhalevich 18.92% of them were found invalid. The same happened to the signatures of Uladzimir Niakliayeu – 16% out of 6,290, Andrei Sannikau – more than 20% out of 3,592 and Dzmitry Us – more than 15% out of 323 signatures.
The local observers cannot say anything about the procedure of the signature verification, as they weren’t invited to observe it. The human rights defender Leanid Markhotka who had been invited to the resulting sitting of the DEC, gave the following commentary: ‘At the resulting sitting I applied for being familiarized with the materials of the verification as I hadn’t been provided with an opportunity to be present during the process of the verification. This question was put to vote twice, and in the both cases the commission unanimously voted against it. The verification of signatures, a key moment of the election, wasn’t conducted openly and transparently, which is a direct violation of Article 13 of the Electoral Code.’
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections