Brest: candidate for deputy not allowed to use additional seals for ballot boxes

2014 2014-03-15T20:25:07+0300 2014-03-15T20:25:07+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Valiantsina Maltsava

Valiantsina Maltsava

Candidate for deputy of the Brest City Council Valiantsina Maltsava intended to buy disposable seals for the money of her electoral fund in order to ensure the safety of ballot boxes for early voting (which takes part during five days before the election day).

Valiantsina Maltsava believes that existence of a large number of identical seals, used during the previous elections, makes the procedure of sealing of the ballot boxes senseless. “The matter is that since the beginning of the early voting and up to the election day the boxes cannot be kept under the control of observers all the time. During this time one can do anything he wants with the ballot boxes, having such a seal,” argues the candidate.

Therefore, Valiantsina Maltsava appealed to the Brest city territorial election commission with a proposal to provide the opportunity to put additional seals on the ballot boxes for early voting at the polling stations of constituency No. 3 for the elections to the Brest City Council, at which she is running. The candidate refers to various normative documents, speaking about the universal and equal suffrage, which should provide free expression of the voters' will.

However, in the received answer, signed by Chairman of the city election commission Vasil Panasiuk, there is no direct response to her proposal. “Brest City Election Commission informs You that the order of sealing of ballot boxes is defined by Article 51 of the Electoral Code of Belarus. According to Article 13 of this document, preparation and conduct of elections to local councils of deputies are carried out openly and publicly, so you have the right to send your proxies to monitor the sealing of the ballot boxes."

Valiantsina Maltsava is disappointed with such reply and says that Article 51, as well as the Electoral Code, contains no direct prohibition for additional sealing of ballot boxes. "What is not prohibited by law, should be allowed”, says the candidate. “Especially since we are talking about these elections and guarantees to prevent manipulation of votes. Probably only the deaf haven't heard that the election results are rigged in Belarus, and the government should be interested in putting an end to such rumors. However, most probably I am offered to use my proxies as guards for the ballot box 24 hours a day. Meanwhile, even open public sealing of the ballot boxes provides no guarantees of unlawful access to these boxes due to the existence of many identical seals. This is like locking a door and giving the key to everyone,” commented the candidate.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"