Hrodna TECs refuse to let observers watch verification of signatures
Hrodna human rights defenders Sviatlana Rudkouskaya and Raman Yurhel have received official responses from the territorial election commissions of Lieninski and Kastryčnicki district of Hrodna.
In their appeals the human rights defenders who were accredited at the respective TECs as observers asked to be provided with the opportunity to monitor the verification of signatures, passed by contenders for candidates.
The TECs of Lieninski and Kastryčnicki districts gave them absolutely identical replies, motivating their refusals by referring to part 4 of Art. 13 of the Electoral Code, according to which observers can attend only sittings of election commissions. Then the heads of the respective commissions, Siarhei Siamashka and Uladzimir Khliabich, point that according to Art. 61 of the Electoral Code the signatures are verified by the commissions and the presence of observers during this procedure is not provided for by the law.
It should be noted that Art. 13 of EC contains an exhaustive list of restrictions on the rights of the observer. However, there is no ban on observation during the procedure of verification of signatures in support of contenders, conducted by territorial election commissions. In their monitoring activists of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” are guided by the principle of transparency of all stages of the electoral campaign, including the procedure of verification of signatures, established by EC.
The lack of transparency in the verification of signatures gives serious grounds to doubt the objectivity of the verification and its results.