Minsk: election commissions are still recommended to organize brigades of ‘observers’

2010 2010-12-06T22:28:23+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/aratar.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Several days the authorities held an educational seminar for the heads of the precinct election commissions of the Zavadski district of Minsk. The seminar was lead by the chief specialist of the organizational and personnel department of the Zavadski District Executive Committee Iryna Yanushevich.

According t the observer Valiantsina Sviatskaya, the seminar was quite usual: ‘Everything was done very precisely, correctly and quite benevolently. The heads of the PECs were trained how to organize the electoral process in line with the existing normative documents concerning presidential elections, especially the recently adopted ruling #98 of the Central Election Commission. In general, I was dismayed only by one circumstance: during the seminar Iryna Yanushevich proposed the heads of the PECs to report about the number of observers at their precincts on each day of the voting. I don’t understand why such extraordinary attention is paid to observers.’

Bear in mind that during an earlier seminar the Deputy Chairperson of the Maskouski District Election Commission Aliaksandr Kudziarmayeu (who is also the head of the organizational and personnel department of the Maskouski District Executive Committee), told the present heads of PECs that there should be at least 10 observers at each precinct, they would be nominated by the Belarusian Union of Women, Belaya Rus and working collectives of various state institutions and needed to have a commandant.

Most probably, such orders are also given by the authorities in other districts of Minsk.

The political scientist Piatro Varatynets commented: ‘I am sure that such orders still exist. It is very difficult to refuse from the system and the algorithm of activities that have existed for 16 years already and try to please the West, which has been considered almost an enemy till lately.

Just imagine – you have conducted elections on a quite precise scenario and are proposed another, quite different one. At the same time, all commissions, and first of all the precinct ones, have to provide 75% of votes for Lukashenka – the number that was voiced by him as the most desirable one.

I think that many interesting things await us at the end of the presidential campaign.’

By the way, the administrations of the Minsk district will continue their meetings with the heads of the PECs, but they won’t be held in the format of training seminars.

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections