Mazyr HR defender: What is legitimate for international observers, is not legitimate for national ones
Having studied the interim report on election observation produced by the CIS’s mission, Mazyr human rights defender Uladzimir Tseliapun, referring to his personal experience as a long-term observer, argues that it is not so “calm” and “in compliance with the Electoral Code” as the mission’s report claims.
The CIS observation mission’s interim report argues that “the election campaign is held in compliance with the Electoral Code and in a calm environment.” It also says that “the observers were given an opportunity to read the protocols of sessions of the commissions and other documents and to talk with commission members.”
“However, it only concerns international observers. Is it easy for a long-term national observer to obtain information on the progress of the election campaign?” asks Uladzimir Tseliapun.
In his reply to the question, the human rights defender recalls numerous incidents when he witnessed violations of Art. 13 of the Electoral Code, which guarantees the transparency of elections.
As an example of such abuses, Mr. Tseliapun refers to a negative reply from chairman of Mazyr constituency election commission No. 42 Mr. M. Pashynski, who denied the observer’s right to study the results of verifying the signatures submitted in support of potential candidates, as well as those provided to nominate future members of election commissions. The election official’s reply claimed that, under Art. 68 of the Electoral Code, “the right is enjoyed by persons nominated for candidates.”
“National observers can receive information only during the sittings of election commissions. However, they are deprived of possibilities to check and verify the official data,” says the human rights defender.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”