BHC observer not allowed to attend formation of precinct election commissions in Hlusk

2015 2015-08-25T13:00:09+0300 2015-08-25T13:00:09+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Ihar Kiryn, an observer of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, was not admitted to yesterday’s meeting of the Hlusk district executive committee, which considered the issue of forming local precinct election commissions.

According to Ihar Kiryn, he learned about the meeting only half an hour before its beginning, when he visited the executive committee’s website. The observer says that he had inquired about the meeting at the executive committee in advance, but he was told that the date of the meeting had not yet been appointed and that it would take place between August 24 and 26.

After reading the announcement, the BHC observer went to the Hlusk executive committee and asked to allow him to attend the meeting.

Natallia Savastsiuk, chief of administration at the executive committee, said the observer could not attend the, as the executive committee had not received a formal request from the BHC. Ihar Kiryn asked to give him the opportunity to attend the meeting as an ordinary citizen, but Ms. Savastsiuk said that Mr. Kiryn was not invited to the meeting and had no personal interest in the issues to be discussed.

The BHC observers says he is very surprised by this attitude, as earlier he has been informed about meetings of the Hlusk district election commission and allowed to attend the joint meeting of the executive committee and the presidium of the District Council, where the commission was formed.

On August 22, Ihar Kiryn was present at the meeting of the election commission which announced the number of signatures submitted for the nomination of presidential candidates. The district commission received signatures for nomination of only two contenders: 5,001 signatures for Aliaksandr Lukashenka and 315 signatures for Mikalai Ulakhovich. The four observers that were present at the meeting (besides Ihar Kiryn, the meeting was attended by three observers from pro-government organizations) were allowed to see the signature sheets and the observer noted that the signatures submitted for Mikalai Ulakhovich caused certain doubt.

The observer said that he was surprised by the fact that the commission did not receive any signatures for the nomination of Tatsiana Karatkevich. According to the observer, signatures were collected for her nomination at a picket, which was attended by Mrs. Karatkevich, as well as by visiting the apartments and at least a few dozen people signed for the contender.

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