Supreme Court turns down two more appeals against non-registration of opposition candidates
Vitsebsk activist of the civil campaign “Tell The
Truth” Siarhei Parsiukevich was going to run at Vitsebsk-Kastrychnitskaya
constituency #20. However, the constituency election commission didn't register
his candidacy, stating that a part of the signatures in his support were
invalid. The Central Election Commission and the Supreme Court upheld this
Civil activist Ryhor Hryk intended to run at Baranavichy-Eastern election constituency #6. However, the constituency election commission declared that 18% of the signatures in support of his nomination which were chosen for verification were invalid. On 27 August the decision not to register his candidacy was supported by the Central Election Commission, and on 5 September – by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Hryk says that the real reason for the non-registration is the fear of the local authorities that he could become a strong rival to the pro-governmental candidate Aliaksandr Stsiatsko.
Siarhei Parsiukevich also says that one could hardly expect any other decisions from the Supreme Court: “I brought to the court statements of the people who had put the signatures which were found invalid – all of them confirmed having signed in support of my nomination. However, the judge hardly took a look at these papers and stated that the study of written evidence was over. All instances took the side of the constituency commission. However, the commission used invalid information itself. For instance, one of the signatures was found invalid as a person's residence was registered in another place. We came there, had a look at the passport – the residence was registered on the specified address. It means that the passport service provided distorted information to the constituency election commission,” commented the activist.
Mr. Parsiukevich is sure that the authorities didn't intend to register him at all, as he is quite a well-known person in the city: “We have visited many yards and houses while collecting signatures to solve various daily issues. As a result of actions of “Tell the Truth!” traffic lights were set up on Smalenskaya Street where some people had perished in car accidents. Thus, I would have gained quite a number of votes if registered. Most probably, this thwarted the plans of the authorities,” says Siarhei Parsiukevich.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”