Mazyr: observer not allowed to attend formation of precinct commissions
Officials of Mazyr district executive committee did not allow local human rights defender Uladzimir Tseliapun to attend a meeting convened to form the precinct election commissions for the upcoming local elections, despite having been delegated by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The ban was reported in a telephone conversation with the chief of the personnel department of the district executive committee Veranika Baikova (she is also employed as the secretary of Mazyr district election commission). She promised to send a written response by mail.
The formation of precinct commissions is to be held by February 5.
Uladzimir Tseliapun notes that during election campaigns officials forget about the law "On Local Government", on openness in local government, as well as Part 1 of Art. 13 of the Electoral Code. "The discussion of candidates to precinct election commissions, their approval usually takes about 15-20 minutes. All is agreed in advance. It is not reported who decides, no explanation is given for failure to include candidates in the commission. For this half-hour meeting a quorum is necessary, and it is difficult for them. They don’t need any witnesses of their formal activities? Although a ban on access to the meeting for the formation of the precinct commissions by an accredited observer is the result of opacity and lack of transparency of the electoral process in Mazyr district," says the observer.
"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"