Vitsebsk BPF leader petitions Parliament over plans to outlaw election boycott campaigning
Leanid Autukhou, Vitsebsk leader of the Belarusian Popular Front, sent a statement to the Legislation Commission of the House of Representatives.
The statement refers to information reported by the state-owned media that at its next session the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus will consider amendments to the Electoral and Administrative Codes of the Republic of Belarus, including those relating to the ban on campaigning for a boycott of the elections.
Leanid Autukhou believes that the adoption of such amendments to the legislation is a violation of the rights of the individual, who has the right to express their opinion, including during election campaigns.
“Both campaigning for voting and campaigning for boycott have equal legal prerequisites to be implemented by all participants in the electoral process. If the Belarusian legislation applies administrative punishment for election boycott campaigning, the executive power will receive an additional lever to ensure voter turnout at the polls. After all, failure to appear at the polls can be easily interpreted as "campaigning for the boycott of the elections," and intimidating voters with an administrative penalty, force them to vote. This will include those who deliberately want to contribute to the boycott of elections ", says Leanid Autukhou.
Mr. Autukhou has been running in a number of election campaigns. But he views the idea of a boycott as acceptable for the citizens if they have certain political convictions. And therefore he protests against restrictions on the rights of those who want to implement this idea during the elections.