Observers report violations at polling stations in Vitsebsk

2014 2014-03-19T14:03:32+0300 2014-03-19T14:03:32+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Most observers state that ballot boxes were left unsealed during lunch break.

Human rights defender Pavel Levinau witnessed such a violation:

“During observation at polling station No. 40 located in the Pershamaiski district I saw a woman come to vote and start whispering something to members of the election commission. When I listened attentively I realized that she wanted to vote for someone else. And then it turned out that she was on the lists of a different polling station, No. 39. The woman went there and I followed her… I just managed to see her being given ballots for two persons. She put all the marks there herself even without entering the booth, and when she saw me she started folding the papers. As a result, she hardly managed to stuff it into the thin slot, and one could clearly see it in the transparent box that the folded ballots were not one piece given to the voter in person, but several pieces.”

Vadzim Kuzmin, who was present as an observer at polling station No. 35 located in the Pershamaiski district, the Election Commission refused to provide information on the number of voters, ballots and those who opted to vote at home.

Vadzim Kuzmin: “I filed a complaint to the Chairperson of the Election Commission to say that I view the concealment of the figures as creating grounds for violations of the law and electoral fraud. I can’t but quote the reply by Chairperson Ihar Kerasiou. He wrote the following, “I leave without satisfaction this fake and vile filthy opus, and view it as an attempt to create obstacles to the conduct of elections”.

Vadzim Kuzmin has forwarded the "answer" to the Prosecutor's Office and the Regional Election Commission. Had to send several complaints there. One of them was against disputable conditions of storing the ballot boxes.

"Polling station No. 35 is located at 25/2 Chkalov Street, in the Edinstvo sports and cultural center. In reality, the voting takes place in a gym. When it was closing for lunch, I asked how the boxes would be stored. I said that it would remain there, under the protection of a policeman. I decided to stay and watch at the door. I saw that at 15.30 the door was approached by a man with a briefcase. He told me he was a "fixer" and then knocked, and the policeman let him inside. When a few minutes later the Chairman and members of the Commission came, I told them about it. The Commission Chairman again began to reproach me rudely for "attempts to disrupt the elections". But as soon as he entered, the unknown man with the briefcase jumped out of the room and started to run. He spent about half an hour in the room, where no unauthorized persons were supposed to be. But I was not allowed to check whether the seals were intact at the ballot box. And in general after this incident attitude toward me became tougher. I was even banned to rise from my seat if I saw something at the polling station".

“Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”