Siarhei Vazniak fined for campaigning picket
Judge of the Savetski District Court of Minsk Maryna Fiodarava fined Siarhei Vazniak, a candidate for the Minsk City Council running on Kalvaryiskaya constituency No. 38, 5.2 million rubles.
The matter is that on February 22 Mr. Vazniak held an electoral picket near Kamarouski market, having notified the Minsk City Executive Committee (as required by the Electoral Code). He threw the notice in the special box of the executive committee, designed for appeals and applications of citizens.
However, the letter “disappeared”, as a result of which the politician was charged with holding an unauthorized mass event.
The arguments of Mr. Vazniak and his lawyer that Article 3 of the Law "On Mass Events"
says that the law doesn't apply for the activities carried out within the framework of election campaigns, were ignored by the judge.
Mr. Vazniak insisted that any incidents that occur during the election campaign should qualify under the Election Code, and not under the law on mass events, and offered to send the case to the territorial election commission.
“I think that the verdict delivered by Maryna Fiodarava is unlawful. Since 19 February until (the day my candidacy was registered) until March 22 (the last day of campaigning), I am under the jurisdiction of the Electoral Code, and all my activities as a candidate should be considered not by the police and courts, but by the electoral commission. I think that the "attacks" of the authorities on the candidates who are supported by the civil campaign "Tell the Truth", are related to the fact that the basis of our pre-election programs are six questions of “People's Referendum”. That's why I regard this fine as praise for the promotion of the referendum," commented Mr. Vazniak.
The activist intends to appeal the verdict to the Minsk City Court.