Baranavichy: Siarhei Housha not allowed to observe signature verification
February 13 the observer from Baranavichy Siarhei Housha received a letter signed by the chairperson of the Baranavichy City Election Commission Baranovichi Tamara Shukala, stating: "What concerns Your request to attend during the verification of signatures in the sheets for the nomination of Ryhor Hryk and Vasil Tsiapin as candidates for the city council, we inform You that Art. 13 of the Electoral Code of Belarus, to which You refer, does not provide for the presence of observers during the verification of signatures by TECs”. Further in her reply, the commission chairperson adds that “In Article 13, paragraph 9 it is stated that observers have no right to interfere in the work of election commissions".
“I agree that observers should not interfere in the work of the commissions, but Art. 13 of the Electoral Code states that elections are open and transparent. That's why I applied to the city election commission and asked to be allowed just to attend the verification of signatures in support of the candidacies of R. Hryk and V. Tsiapin. However, may be it is the very presence of independent observers in the Baranavichy TEC that “interferes” in an objective and impartial elections,” commented MR. Housha.
"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"