Minsk: member of precinct election commission nominated by BPF Party tries to restore her rights

2010 2010-12-09T22:47:16+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/smijan-semenuk.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A member of the precinct election commission #104 of the Maskouski District of Minsk Iryna Smiayan-Semianiuk applied to the Central Election Commission and the Minsk City Election Commission with a complaint about unlawful actions by the commission Chairperson, Yury Nasonau. As stated in the complaint, in violation of Part 3 of Article 37 of the Electoral Code of Belarus I.Smiayan-Semianiuk was not invited to the meeting of the commission, except the first two ones.

Thus, she was unable to participate in such important moments of the campaign as getting a list of voters, the ballot papers, and in the training of the commission members. In addition, the chairperson of the commission answered her questions in a rude form. She was allowed to familiarize neither with the minutes of the sittings of the commission she had missed, nor with other documents adopted by the commission in her absence.

’During my conversation with the chairman of the committee, I asked him why I hadn’t been invited to the sittings of the commission or informed about them, and received quite a rude reply. He answered that it he wasn’t obliged to invite me,’ writes I.Smiayan-Semianiuk.

On 7 December Iryna managed to talk with the commission Chairperson. During their conversation he confessed that everything was decided not by him, but by the district authorities. ‘It means that the state authorities interfere with the work of the election commission, though they don’t have such rights according to the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus. In particular, Article 24 of the Electoral Code regulates the duties of the local executive and administrative bodies, which doesn’t include the management of precinct election commissions.’

Mrs. Smiayan-Semianiuk also notes that according to ruling #99 of the Central Election Commission of 5 November 2010 the training of precinct election commissions in cities was to have been conducted by city district election commissions till 8 December, whereas accoridng to Mr. Nasonau it was held by the Maskouski District Executive Committee of Minsk. ‘Thus, it is evident that the precinct election commission wasn’t trained by the competent body, is not independent and is ruled by the district authorities, which violates its independence that is guaranteed by Part 3 of Article 11 of the Electoral Code, which states that election commissions are independent from the authorities within the limits of their powers during elections,’ points Iryna.

The activist is sure that the reason for ignoring her as a member of the precinct commisison is that she had been nominated to it by the Belarusian Popular Front Party. As she is the only representative of the democratic opposition in the commission, her elimination from the commission activities is aimed at the prevention of the monitoring of the activities of the commission.

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections