Homel region: state press knows ‘ideologically correct answers’
electronic media published information that the ideological department of the
Homel Region Executive Committee sent to the editorial boards of the local
state-owned newspapers a letter with the proposal to hold a poll among the
local dwellers concerning the upcoming election. The letter offered the
newspapers not only questions, but also ideologically correct answers to them.
In particular, the correct answers to the question ‘Do you feel that an electoral campaign has started in the country?’ are ‘No, I still don’t see anything – I thought that candidates will be more active’ and ‘The candidates work too weakly – there are no posters and leaflets almost anywhere’. What concerns the electoral programs, the respondents need to answer ‘The candidates all resemble one another’, ‘There was nothing wise and interesting in their speeches’, ‘None of them know how to rule a country’, ‘All of them spoke badly and unconfidently, were unprepared as if they were came from the street’, ‘The evening was spoilt, I would prefer a good movie instead’.
We may doubt about the existence of such letter, but some interesting things can be found in the local press.
For instance, the Brahin district state-owned newspaper Mayak Palessia asked respondents the questions that were proposed by the ideologists: ‘Do you feel the approach of the election?’
The main custodian of the Brahin historical museum and picture gallery Nadzeya Mialeshka answered correctly, as it is demanded by the ideology – she hit the bull’s eye! ‘I am attentively watching the speeches of candidates for President, but, pitifully enough, none of them have been interesting enough. I have the impression that they are completely incompetent and inexperienced people who don’t have a clear vision of the further course of the country’s development. Much is reduced to the critique of actions of the incumbent President and promises to change everything, though it is unclear what they are going to ‘build’.’
She also stated that she was pleased with a positive evaluation of the organizational process of the electoral campaign that was given by representatives of the OSCE that visited the Brahin district as observers. We don’t know what she meant by ‘positive evaluation’, but usually OSCE observers don’t give any assessments before the end of the electoral process.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections