Human rights defender not allowed to attend formation of district election commission in Mazyr
On December 26, joint meeting of the district executive committee and the District Council was held in Mazyr to form the district election commission. Ahead of the meeting, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee submitted an application to the executive committee with a request to allow its local representative Uladzimir Tseliapun to attend the meeting. “But as soon as I came to the executive committee today, there appeared the chief of the personnel department of the district executive committee Veranika Baikova who handed me a letter written on behalf of the District Council of Deputies saying that I could not attend the meeting,” says the BHC observer.
The letter said that “under Article 34 of the Electoral Code, the representatives of political parties, other public associations, labor collectives of citizens who proposed their representatives to be included in the composition, are entitled to attend the sitting of bodies which form the commissions.” “BHC did not nominate their representatives to the commission, so you do not have the right to attend the meeting,” sum up the officials.
“The creation of election commissions is always classified by the bodies that form them. There were cases in 2006 and 2010, when district electoral commissions were created even before start of the executive committee’s working day. I managed to attend the meetings of district and precinct commissions in 2010 (local and presidential elections). These numerous commissions were formed within 15-20 minutes. There is not discussion at the meeting and the reasons for non-inclusion in the commission remain unknown. They just read out information prepared by some “working group.” It is unknown who and on what basis form these groups, as well their powers,” comments the human rights activist.
He stresses that Article 13 of the Electoral Code guarantees the openness and transparency of the electoral process, and Article 34 imposes certain restrictions.
“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”