Mazyr District Executive Committee: ‘working groups’ mustn’t interest observers

2010 2010-11-10T01:34:56+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Mazyr DEC refused to familiarize observer Uladzimir Tseliapun with its ruling about the establishment of the so-called ‘working groups’ that had actually formed the precinct election commissions in the Mazyr district.

Several days ago Mr. Tseliapun received an answer signed by the first Deputy Chairperson of the Mazyr DEC A.Tsitok. The refusal to provide the observer with the requested information is explained by the statement that ‘this ruling doesn’t belong to the category documents that must be obligatory placed in the mass media according to the Electoral Code and the Law On the local government and self-government’.

The human rights defender was advised to learn his rights and duties according to Article 13 of the Electoral Code where it is ‘stated which materials and documents can be presented to an observer who possesses accreditation at a territorial election commission’. The answer argues that ‘documents and materials of the executive committee don’t belong to this category’.

The concluding argument of the DEC letter reads: ‘According to Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus you were provided with the right to receive, store and impart information about the formation of precinct election commissions and precincts for the election of President of the Republic of Belarus. You were admitted to the sitting of the district executive committee, received information about the results of the nomination of people to the precinct commissions and the placement of this information at websites in the Internet. On the basis of the aforesaid, the Mazyr District Executive Committee considers that your rights weren’t violated.’

Uladzimir Tseliapun stated that the answer of the DEC clearly shows the imperfection of Article 13 of the Electoral Code concerning the rights of observers, though Article 13, part 1 states that elections must be conducted openly and transparently.

According to Mr. Tseliapun, observers also remain citizens of the Republic of Belarus, whose rights and legal interests must be observed. ‘Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, which is mentioned in the DEC letter, also states: ‘The state organs, public associations and duty officials must give a citizen of the Republic of Belarus to familiarize with the materials that concern their rights and legal interests,’ says the human rights defender. According to him, the Mazyr DEC failed to implement this constitutional requirement in its answer.