Pro-governmental observer Dzmitry Niakhai describes electoral falsifications during previous elections
Mr. Niakhai told how election fraud is taking place in Belarus. The press-service of the European Belarus civil campaign has received a letter from him which is published without changes.
‘During 1997-2002 I worked as a deputy head of a department of the Maladechna District Executive Committee. I took part in the elections to the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, to the local councils, and in the presidential election as an observer nominated by a labor collective at the electoral precinct of the Haradok village council and in the village of Krasnaye.
The election results rigging started at polling stations even on the stage of the early voting. At that period the ballot boxes with ballot papers are left without observers for a long time, and that is why the authorities force citizens to take part in it.
While I was at the polling station in the village of Pyatroushchyna, I witnessed the following events. On the Election Day two observers arrived to the polling station, two young persons, members of a political party. They acted competently; they observed the work of the commission in turn, they behaved composedly and gave no grounds to evict them from the polling station. However, the election commission had to fulfill its ‘task’. After consultations, members of the election commission decided to use a movable ballot box and throw in the ‘right’ ballot papers in a door-to-door visit to voters. It was done this way.
When the head of the collective farm and the chairperson of the village council came to the polling station, they told which work had been done by them to achieve the required result. It was explained for the local population that in case they voted ‘in a wrong way’ the collective farm would not help them by agricultural vehicles in harvesting operations; would not give feeding stuff and land for procurement of fodder, and so on.
The counting the results of the voting by members of the election commission was held in full compliance with the figures dictated by the district election commission and agreed upon on the phone. The ‘wrong’ ballot papers were torn and thrown away, and the needed ‘right’ ones were immediately filled in and added. The election commission had blank ballot papers for that. After that the final protocols were written.
The polling station in the village of Krasnaye was situated at the territory of a military unit. At this polling station the electoral fraud was performed with the help of intimidation. The command of the military unit told us that according to an oral order, in case at least one ‘wrong’ ballot paper is found in the ballot box, no one would be allowed to go on the pass. All soldiers came at the set time in line of columns. There were 100% votes for the ‘right’ candidate.
In this presidential election precinct election commissions were formed with a minimal number of opposition representatives. Thus, as before, the state bodies use administrative resources are paving the way for rigging the election results.