News for 5 Nov 2010

Precinct election commissions: ‘discrimination coefficient’ remains the same

05.11.2010 Precinct election commissions: ‘discrimination coefficient’ remains the same

On 5 November the civil campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections held a press-conference on the results of the formation of precinct election commissions. The results that were announced by the Chairperson of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak and the lawyer of the Human Rights Center Viasna Valiantsin Stefanovich are quite disappointing for those who expect some democratization of the election process. It was stated that representatives of opposition structures weren’t included in the commissions five times more often than representatives of the organizations that are loyal to the present authorities. ‘The coefficient of discrimination’, as Mr. Hulak called it, remains the same in comparison to the previous election.

Zhlobin district: 6 complaints against non-inclusion of people in precinct commissions

05.11.2010 Zhlobin district: 6 complaints against non-inclusion of people in precinct commissions

6 complaints against the non-inclusion of democratic activists in the precinct election commissions (PECs) of the Zhlobin district have been lodged to the Zhlobin District Court. The trials were scheduled for 7 November.

05.11.2010 Baranavichy: ruling about formation of precinct commissions is appealed at court

On 5 November the Chairperson of the Baranavichy town organization of the Belarusian Language Society (BLS) Viktar Syrytsa (pictured) applied to the Baranavichy Town Court with a complaint against the ruling of the Baranavichy Town Executive Committee (TEC) concerning the formation of the precinct election commissions on the territory of the town.

Miory: collector of signatures receives phone threats

05.11.2010 Miory: collector of signatures receives phone threats

According to the member of the campaign team of Vital Rymasheuski Iryna Valter, on 4 November she received a phone call from an unidentified man. He stated that she needed to urgently take away from the district executive committee the signatures that had been collected in favor of Mr. Rymasheuski and threatened her with trouble at work otherwise.

Hrodna: human rights defenders detained at customs office

05.11.2010 Hrodna: human rights defenders detained at customs office

The equipment of the border guards reacted to the passports of the human rights defenders Uladzimir Khilmanovich and Viktar Sazonau during the passport control at the customs office of the Hrodna railway station.

Mazyr: human rights defender asks prosecutor to check legality of establishment of ‘working group’

05.11.2010 Mazyr: human rights defender asks prosecutor to check legality of establishment of ‘working group’

The human rights defender Uladzimir Tseliapun believes that the ‘working group’ that was established at the Mazyr District Executive Committee, takes over the functions of the Central Election Commission and the district commissions, and asks the inter-district prosecutor of the Mazyr district to check the legitimacy of the ruling of the district executive committee concerning its formation.

Barysau: 112 precinct election commissions formed for 12 minutes

05.11.2010 Barysau: 112 precinct election commissions formed for 12 minutes

The representative of the Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry Maryna Statkevich was admitted to the sitting of the Barysau District Executive Committee that formed the precinct election commissions (PECs) for the Barysau district. She was very surprised with the fact that this sitting lasted only for 12 minutes.

Svetlahorsk: precinct election commissions haven’t changed much since local elections

05.11.2010 Svetlahorsk: precinct election commissions haven’t changed much since local elections

The independent observers who were present at the sittings of the executive committees on the formation of the PECs were surprised and indignant – how can 60 or 70 election commissions be formed for some 10 or 15 minutes, by voting for all lists of commissions at once without any discussion of the candidacies? The naïve observers were explained that the draft compositions of the commissions had been composed in advance by the specially established ‘working groups’.

Zhodzina Town Election Commission to hold additional verification of signatures for Statkevich, Kostuseu and Tsiareshchanka

05.11.2010 Zhodzina Town Election Commission to hold additional verification of signatures for Statkevich, Kostuseu and Tsiareshchanka

On 4 November the Zhodzina Town Election Commission held a sitting for the verification of the signatures that had been passed to it by the campaign teams of 9 pretenders for President of Belarus. The sitting was observed by Aliaksei Lapitski.

Human rights defenders Pay attention to use of torture in Belarus

05.11.2010 Human rights defenders Pay attention to use of torture in Belarus

A group of human rights defenders from different Belarusian human rights organizations prepared an alternative report to the UN Committee against Torture. The report concerns the international undertakings of Belarus according to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Kinds of Treatment and Punishment. This is the first alternative report on torture that will be presented to the UN in December and will be considered by the Committee against Torture as early as spring 2011.

Brest: signatures are verified by forensic experts, police and housing

05.11.2010 Brest: signatures are verified by forensic experts, police and housing

The 1st National Channel showed in the block of news dedicated to the Brest region a piece of news concerning the verification of the signature sheets of the potential candidates for president.

Mahiliou: Kastrychnitski district election commission recounted signatures for Niakliayeu and Mikhalevich

05.11.2010 Mahiliou: Kastrychnitski district election commission recounted signatures for Niakliayeu and Mikhalevich

According to the human rights defender Barys Bukhel, the Kastrychnitski District Election Commission recounted the number of signatures that had been passed in support of the nomination of Uladzimir Niakliayeu and Aliaksei Mikhalevich as candidates for President of the Republic of Belarus. After this procedure the number of the signatures for Mr. Niakliayeu became 614 more than the number that had been passed to the commission by his campaign team, and the number of signatures for Mr. Mikhalevich became 1,555 (instead of 1,727, the number received during the first counting). The election commission explains this mistake as a purely technical.

Brest region: CIS LTO calls electoral process democratic

05.11.2010 Brest region: CIS LTO calls electoral process democratic

The regional state-owned newspaper Zarya published an interview under the title Berastseishchyna is already prepared to holding elections…, including an interview with the long-term observer of the Commonwealth of Independent States Bakhyt Dasanov, the Deputy Head of the Department of Security Cooperation and Counteraction to New Threats and Challenges of the CIS who was elected the Chairperson of the department of the CIS observance mission in the Brest region.

Pruzhany district: Red Cross instead of political parties

05.11.2010 Pruzhany district: Red Cross instead of political parties

There won’t be any representatives of any political parties in the 55 precinct election commissions (PECs) of the Pruzhany district. The bulk of the candidates for the commissions were nominated by collection of signatures of electors, representatives of collectives of institutions and enterprises and by NGOs.

Precinct commissions of Vitsebsk region include less than 0.25% oppositionists

05.11.2010 Precinct commissions of Vitsebsk region include less than 0.25% oppositionists

The Belarusian Leftist Party Fair World nominated to the precinct election commissions (PECs) 50 representatives, 18 of whom were included: 7 – in Polatsk, 6 – in Orsha, 3 – in the Orsha district, 1 – in the Talachyn district and 2 – in Navapoaltsk. However, not a single nominee of the party was included in a PEC in Vitsebsk.

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