Report on Monitoring Appealing Procedures against Denial of Candidates’ Registration

2012 2012-09-07T16:03:46+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/zasvabodnyjavybarylogo-en.png The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

According to Part 16 of Article 68 of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter - the EC) the decision of a district election commission (hereinafter - DEC) to deny registration to a candidate to the Camber of Representatives may be appealed in the Central Election Commission by a person nominated as a candidate within three days from the date of the decision.

A decision of the Central Election Commission may be appealed in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within the same timeframe, by a person nominated as a candidate. The Supreme Court considers appeals against decisions of the Central Election Commission to deny registration to a candidate in accordance with Chapter 29 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Belarus.

The Central Election Commission shall provide the Supreme Court with the materials that were the reason for refusal to register a candidate. An applicant may present the evidence and other materials to court. The decision of the Supreme Court is final.

 

Consideration of Appeals by the Central Election Commission

From 22 to 25 August the Central Election Commission received 56 appeals against decisions of the district election commissions to deny registration to candidates and one appeal against the DIC decision to cancel its earlier decision to register the candidate.

This year there are less appeals than during the same period of parliamentary elections in 2004 (164 contenders used their right to appeal DIC decisions), and about the same in 2008 (52 appeals).

The Central Election Commission considered the appeals on August 28-30. The sessions were attended by members of seven political parties that are represented in CEC as members with a consultative vote – BPF Party, the United Civil Party, Belarusian Left Party "Fair World", the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party of Belarus, and the Republican Party of Labor and Justice. Members of the Central Election Commission in a consultative capacity had an opportunity to speak, ask questions, and present materials. However, they could see the materials on the appeals submitted for consideration only during the sessions.

As a result, 11of 57 appeals were satisfied. Among the 11 contenders registered as candidates there are three non-partisan candidates, three representatives from UCP and three – from the Republican Party of Labor and Justice, one representative of the LDP and one – from the BPF Party. By satisfying about 20% of appeals, the Central Election Commission exceeded the figure of 2008 (8 out of 52, or 15%) and did not reach the figure of 2004 (44 of 164, or 26%).

The Central Election Commission claimed that four UCP nominees missed the deadline in filing their appeals. However, when they presented evidence of having filed the appeals in time (as determined by law), the CEC accepted the appeals for consideration. As a result, Pavel Kazlouski was registered as a candidate.

The majority of the 11 satisfied complaints were about denial of registration on the basis of wrong data in income declarations. In a number of cases district election commissions denied registration to candidates who failed to declare amounts less than 20% of annual revenue. According to official explanation of the Central Election Commission, this is not considered a fundamental breach. In such cases the Central Election Commission cancelled the decisions made by district commissions and registered the candidates. However, the candidates ended up losing a week of campaign time due to incompetent actions of district commissions.

The Central Election Commissions did not satisfy the majority of appeals against DEC decisions to invalidate some voters’ signatures. The CEC based its decisions on information from the district commissions, including the results of examination by the Ministry of Interior that the dates of voters’ signatures had been written by one hand. Some contenders presented written confirmation by voters that they had put the date themselves, but the Central Election Commission did not take them into account. For instance, this happened with Mikhail Pashkevich, who eventually was denied registration in Kupalauskaya district # 95 in Minsk.

In some cases, experts failed to conclude if the entries in the column "Date" and "signature" had been made by the same, or different, person. However, the Central Election Commission did not take that into account and did not satisfy the appeals.

During the CEC sessions it became clear that some district commissions had a formal approach to considering the nomination documents and failed to assist the candidates for the parliamentary mandate, as required by Paragraph 4 of Part 2 of Article 40 of the Election Code. They were particularly prejudiced when checking nomination papers of opposition political parties representatives and independent nominees.

Alexander Solap, supported by the "Tell the Truth" campaign, was nominated in Lahoisk district #67. Having recognized the fact that the district commission had no reasons to deny registration to Solap, the Central Election Commission decided not to satisfy his appeal and leave the DEC decision in force. Referring to citizens’ claims CEC said the reason was repeated criminal record of the contender. However, according to the Election Code Solap has no obstacles for registration as a candidate as his criminal record expired with time.

 

Consideration of Appeals against CEC Decisions in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court considered appeals from August 31 to September 6. There were 19 complaints about the decisions of the Central Election Commission refusing to satisfy the appeals submitted to CEC. Only one of them, submitted by Viktar Tsiareshchanka, was granted; the applicant was registered as a candidate (Pastavy district # 29). Two complaints were not considered because of the missed deadline. The remaining 16 complaints were dismissed.

The court did not fully fulfill the norms of the electoral law and the civil procedure. Some applicants had limited possibilities to provide evidence, as in case of Artur Finkevich (Svislatskaya district # 94). When considering the appeal filed by Artur Finkevich the court procured  evidence on its own,  in violation of Articles 99, 337, 339 of the Code of Civil Procedure, despite the fact that it was the duty of the Central Election Commission.

 

Mainly, the Supreme Court failed to take into account citizens’ statements verifying that that they had put their signatures on the signature sheets. This was the case with the appeal filed by Aksana Samuilava (Babruisk-Pershamaiski district #79). However, in Viktar Tsiareshchanka’s case, the Supreme Court took the presented evidence into account and ruled to register Tsiareshchanka as a candidate. Thus, we have observed some inconsistency in the way the law was applied.

 

When hearing the complaint of Siarhei Parsiukevich (Vitsebsk-Kastrychnitskaya district #19), the court referred to Part 16 of Article 61 of the Election Code, claiming that a person who was not a member of the initiative group had not right to fill in the signature sheets. This decision contradicts the Ruling of the Central Election Commission[1]. According to the Ruling, voter’s data envisaged in columns 1-5 of a signature sheet can be entered by either a voter, or another person at voter’s request, including members of the initiative group. The decision of the Supreme Court reveals obvious illegitimacy of the above-mentioned CEC Ruling and puts the participants of the election process in unequal conditions.

 

The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Central Election Commission to deny registration to Alexander Solap because of his criminal record. Supreme Court Judge Ihar Milto referred to the Election Code that requires candidates to have no criminal record. Milto said that the Election Code did not clarify that candidates could be registered if their criminal record was expired. This approach is clearly contrary to the law, as under Article 99 of the Criminal Code, expiry or discharge of the criminal record annuls the legal effects of criminal responsibility. Thus, the court did not eliminate the discriminatory approach formulated by the Central Election Commission in its ruling on Solap’s appeal.

 

Supplement:

 

Results of Appeals’ Consideration by the Central Election Commission and the Supreme Court

Name

District

Denial because drawbacks in income declaration

Denial because of invalidated signatures

Result of hearing by CEC

Result of hearing by the Supreme Court

Party

BUKAS
Anatol U.

62

Х

 

Denied

 

No party

Kavaliou
Andrei F.

102

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

FINKEVICH
Artur U.

94

 

Х

Denied

 Denied

No party

KHADORKIN
Isiof A.

98

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

DROBYSHAU  
Valery K.

92

Х

 

Denied

Denied

No party

KVITKO Aleh V.

96

Х

 

Registered

 

Fair World

KHILIUTA
Volha H.

97

Х

 

Denied

 

LDP

YANCUREVICH Viktar V.

108

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

MIRZAYANAVA Ludmila F.

108

Х

 

Denied

 

UCP

YARKOVICH Mikalai I.

96, 97

 

 

Denied

 

No party

KRYZHANOUSKI Yauhen A.

99

Х

 

Registered

 

LDP

SHUMKEVICH Alexander U.

105

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

KARPOVICH Siarhei V.

97

Х

 

Registered

 

BPF Party

HERASIMENKA Alena H.

101

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

PASHKOUSKAYA Viktoria V.

97

Х

 

Denied

 

BSDP (H)

PASHKEVICH Mikhail V.

95

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

SOLAP Zhanna M.

106

 

 

Denied

 

No party

KAVALKOVA Volha A.

91

Х

 

Registered

 

UCP

KHOMICH Maryna U.

109

 

 

Denied

 

UCP

TRUFANAU Aleh A.

109

Х

Х

Denied

 

No party

MAZHALSKI Leanid A.

109

Х

Х

Denied

 

No party

SPIRYN
Pavel M.

97

Х

 

Registered

 

No party

SHOMCHANKA
Lubou A.

110

 

 

Registered

 

No party

MILINKEVICH
Alexander U.

109

Х

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

LEPIN
Heorhi F.

110

Х

 

Denied

 

UCP

KAZLOUSKI
Pavel P.

93

Х

 

Registered

 

UCP

TSIARESHCHANKA
Viktar I.

29

 

Х

Denied

Registered

No party

PERSIKAU
Ihar S.

46

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

SIMONCHYK
Anatol  A.

64

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

KALIAKA
Valiantsina S.

75

 

 

Denied

 

No party

KRUHLIKAU
Iosif A.

64

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

VASILYEU
Mikhail V.

63

Х

 

Denied

Denied

UCP

SOLAP
Alexander V.

67

 

 

Denied

Denied

No party

MALIARCHUK
Uladzimir A.

74

Х

 

Registered

 

UCP

ESHBAYEU
Artur Ya.

75

Х

 

Registered

 

Fair World

LEBIADOK
Yahor V.

75

 

Х

Registered

 

No party

TAMASHEVICH
Maksim I.

77

Х

 

Denied

 

No party

DZENISENKA
Ludmila M.

1

Х

 

Registered

 

Fair World

AUHUST
Dzmitry V.

6

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

HRYK
Ryhor Ya.

6

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

RABTSAU
Siarhei F.

28

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

PARSIUKEVICH
Siarhei Ya.

20

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

SAHIDULINA
Lidia Dz.

28

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

PRAVALSKI
Uladzimir A.

20

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

YASKEVICH
Iryna R.

18

Х

 

Denied

 

UCP

PANKRAT
Mikalai H.

28

Х

Х

Denied

 

No party

KAZLOU
Aleh V.

47

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

TRYBILUSTAU
Henadz V.

44

Х

 

Denied

 

RPLJ

VARANOVICH
Nikadzim I.

42

 

 

Denied

 

No party

DASHKEVICH
Dzianis M.

45

 

Х

Denied

 

No party

ZHOLIK
Dzmitry A.

60

 

Х

Denied

 Denied

No party

SAMUILAVA
Aksana A.

79

 

Х

Denied

Denied

No party

BRYTSIKAU
Siarhei Ya.

84

Х

 

Denied

Denied

BPF Party

Total:

 

24

26

11 appeals satisfied

 

42 appeals not satisfied

 

1 appeal satisfied

 

16 appeals not satisfied

 

 

 

 



[1] Ruling of the Central Election Commission of 19 June 2012 # 23 “Clarification of application of the regulations of the Election Code, describing the procedure of candidate nomination by signature collection during the elections to the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus if the Fifth Convocation.”

 

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