Orsha printing house creates obstacles to opposition candidates
Orsha printing house refuses to print campaigning leaflets, requiring written permission of the executive committee, stated the candidate of the district council, a member of the Belarusian Popular Front Ihar Kazmiarchak.
The problem has remained unsolved for several days already, despite the intervention of the Regional Election Commission.
"Last Tuesday, I appealed to the printing house to order leaflets. At first, they accepted the order, and there were no problems. A few hours later I got a call from the printing house and was told that they needed permission from the executive committee. They did not explain whether they needed confirmation that the text was approved, or that leaflets could be printed. I phoned to the Vitsebsk Regional Election Commission, they discussed it for a long time, but eventually acknowledged that the issuance of such permissions is not provided for by the legislation. I went to the Orsha District Executive Committee. They promised to discriminate in the situation, and even allegedly instructed someone... But today the problem is not solved: I called to the printng house, and they still require a written permission," said Ihar Kazmiarchak.
March 6, it became known that the situation concerns not only the leaflets of Ihar Kazmiarchak. Five candidates – from the Belarusian Popular Front, United Civil Party, Fair World, and a representative of the civil initiative “Tell the Truth”, filed a written complaint to the Orsha District Election Commission.
The candidates went to the election commission together with the leader of “Tell the Truth” Uladzimir Niakliayeu, who came to Orsha to suppport a local activist of the campaign Kanstantsin Antashkevich. In Niakliayeu's presence, Chairman of the commission promised to resolve the issue. He stated that the printing house allegedly had a young director, who knew neither the electoral legislation, nor his office duties. Meanwhile, the printing house still demands “written permission”. In this situation, the candidates cannot begin their agitation campaign, and emphasize that their time is wasted and violation of the electoral legislation continues.
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