Election officials in Bykhau launch total check of signatures for opposition hopeful

2014 2014-02-17T13:19:50+0300 2014-02-17T13:19:50+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/antonau-siargej-1.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Siarhei Antonau

Siarhei Antonau

Representatives of the Bykhau-based district election commission of constituency No. 14 are interviewing almost all citizens who put their signatures for nomination of a candidate for the Mahiliou Regional Council of Deputies, writer and journalist, BPF member Siarhei Antonau. The question they ask is very peculiar – “Why did you sign for Siarhei Antonau?".

"We get a very interesting situation - members of the district election commission check signatures of almost all those people who signed up for my nomination,” says the potential candidate. “Let's just say, I do not particularly care about it, since all the signatures for my nomination as a candidate for the Regional Council were properly collected. It is more surprising that members of the district election commission ask the voters not only about whether or not they signed for my nomination, but are trying to find out "why they signed for Siarhei Antonau?" I have been told about it by many of those people who put their signatures for my nomination as a candidate. There is such a kind of hidden pressure on people, so the next time they will think twice whether they need to sign for a representative of a democratic opposition party."

According to Siarhei Antonau, the district commission members do not verify signatures in support of other candidates.

Besides Siarhei Antonau campaign team, the district commission of Bykhau constituency No. 14 received signatures from initiative groups of director of two local state-owned enterprises, Barys Tsyporyn and Vital Kavalenka.

Activist of "Tell the Truth" Tatsiana Bulanava, whose campaign team was also registered with the district commission, has not provided any papers for registration.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"