Homelskaya Prauda publishes only ‘ideologically correct’ opinions about opposition’s candidates
What are your feelings about the speeches of the
presidential candidates? – an
article with such a title was published in the front page of the newspaper
issue for 30 November. Meanwhile, the incumbent Aliaksandr
Lukashenka refused to deliver and electoral speech. Hence, the article concerns
only other candidates.
All four interviewed ‘unanimously’ declared that they have negative feelings. So, the director of the Rechytsa hardware plant Adam Vashkou said that speeches had offended him as a Belarusian, and gives an example: one of the candidates campaigned under the slogan of creating a million of jobsites. The First Secretary of the Homel Region Committee of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union, Andrei Beliakou doesn’t ‘feel that candidates have a serious approach’ which is allegedly witnessed by the fact that they deem as necessary to restore benefits for young people and increase scholarships. The Chairperson of the Association of Foster Families of the Homel District Rehina Karpeza didn’t ‘hear a word about saving the family’ in any of the electoral speeches. The chief physician of the regional cardiology dispensary Hanna Lapatsina is outraged that ‘the candidates criticize the authorities despite all successes in the country’ and ‘don’t have concrete electoral programs’.
By the way, according to the Electoral Code, the newspaper also has to publish the electoral programs of ‘useless candidates’ and one has just to turn the page over to see two of them.
The chief editor of Homelskaya Prauda Siarhei Biaspaly publishes in it only those opinions that don’t contradict the ideology of the state vertical. This is understandable: the founder of the newspaper is Homel Region Executive Committee, whose leaders are appointed by Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The same situation can be observed in all other regional and local state-owned newspapers in the country.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections