News for November 2010

24.11.2010 CEC evades consideration on the merits

On 23 November, Baranavichy independent observer Siarhei Housha received a reply from the Central Election Commission to his inquiry of 18 November, in which the observer called for the CEC to publish the complete lists of members of 7 local territorial and polling stations election commissions, who comprised employees of the same state enterprises.

 Smarhon observer appeals decision on canvassing restrictions

24.11.2010 Smarhon observer appeals decision on canvassing restrictions

Ales Dzerhachou, observer at Smarhon district election commission, has lodged a complaint with the district executive committee against its earlier decision on authorized canvassing locations.

Pro-dem campaign headquarters call for increase of canvassing locations in Hrodna and Baranavichy

24.11.2010 Pro-dem campaign headquarters call for increase of canvassing locations in Hrodna and Baranavichy

Hrodna election staffers, including Yury Istomin, activist of Yaraslau Ramanchuk’s campaign team, and Dzmitry Bandarchuk, representative of Uladzimir Niakliayeu’s headquarters, addressed the city executive committee with a request to review its decision on authorized canvassing venues. The activists believe the list considerably restrains free and wide access to voters.

Salihorsk prosecutor extends detention of anarchist Frantskevich

23.11.2010 Salihorsk prosecutor extends detention of anarchist Frantskevich

Salihorsk prosecuting authorities extended the detention of Aliaksandr Frantskevich, activist of the Belarusian anarchist movement, charged with attack on the town police department building back in May 2010.

Chair of election commission discharged after appeal by Vitsebsk HR activist

23.11.2010 Chair of election commission discharged after appeal by Vitsebsk HR activist

According to Vitsebsk human rights defender Pavel Levinau, the Central Election Commission ruled to discharge chair of Vitsebsk election commission #35 Andrei Markouski, after an investigation, initiated upon Mr. Levinau’s appeal, proved his nomination for the post was illegal.

Hrodna Regional Court upholds verdicts by district courts

23.11.2010 Hrodna Regional Court upholds verdicts by district courts

Hrodna regional office of the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party Hramada received two replies to its earlier appeals against decisions by the courts of Masty and Svislach districts. The appeals were lodged after the Party’s two activists Dzmitry Kuchun and Viktar Dziasiatsik were denied membership on local election commissions.

State-owned media keep low-key approach to presidential election, says BAJ monitoring report

23.11.2010 State-owned media keep low-key approach to presidential election, says BAJ monitoring report

The Belarusian Association of Journalists has issued another monitoring report, which deals with the coverage of the second stage of the 2010 presidential election by the electronic and printed Belarusian media. According to the report’s conclusions, the state-owned electronic and printed media kept to the low-key approach to the presidential election, though some media began to give it more coverage.

OSCE long-term observers visit Belarusian regions

23.11.2010 OSCE long-term observers visit Belarusian regions

OSCE long-term observers Hilde Katrine Haug and Shota Khujade paid a working visit to Pinsk and Hrodna. During their visit, they held meetings with representatives of local executive authorities, territorial election commissions, candidates’ campaign teams and independent observers.

23.11.2010 Vitsebsk “boycotters” fined and arrested

Barys Hamaida and Yan Dazortsau have been punished. Judge Alena Tsyhankova interpreted their actions as organization of an unauthorized picket. Mr. Dazortsau will be fined for Br350 thousand (10 base amounts) and Mr. Hamaida will spend five days in jail.

23.11.2010 Ministry of Internal Affairs reminds candidates it is prohibited to campaign at Kastrychnitskaya Square

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has reminded that pre-electoral campaigning at Kastrychnitskaya Square is prohibited. The Deputy Minister Jauhen Paludzen has reminded in his interview to a narrow circle of journalists that those who violate the laws will be subjected to responsibility. State TV-channels broadcasted some fragments of this interview on November 22, BelaPAN reports.

Election of the President: Pre-election Monitoring Report on Registration of Presidential Candidates

23.11.2010 Election of the President: Pre-election Monitoring Report on Registration of Presidential Candidates

In general, registration of candidates took place without significant restrictions of the right of candidates to be elected. At the same time, the non-transparent character of signature verification process and check of documents presented by nominees for registration does not exclude chances for manipulation by election commissions and gives grounds to view the results of registration as politically not legally motivated.

Election of the President: Pre-election Monitoring Report on Collection of Voters' Signatures in Support of Persons Nominated to be Presidential Candidates

23.11.2010 Election of the President: Pre-election Monitoring Report on Collection of Voters' Signatures in Support of Persons Nominated to be Presidential Candidates

Election commissions did not allow observers to be present at verification of signatures, explaining that under the Electoral Code observers may attend sittings of commissions, while verification of signatures took place outside such sittings.

Pro-Lukashenka canvassing auto rally is an outrage against election legislation

22.11.2010 Pro-Lukashenka canvassing auto rally is an outrage against election legislation

According to the Belaruskaya Niva state-owned newspaper, on 19 November Saint-Petersburg activist launched a canvassing auto rally entitled ‘We are for Batska!’ The rally has been arranged by the Slavonic Brothers Russian society and AutoRadioClub.

22.11.2010 Brest Fair World activist keeps appealing election restrictions

Ms. Liudmila Dzenisenka, chair of Brest city office of the Fair World leftist party, has lodged a complaint with chair of Brest regional court against an earlier decision of Brest Leninski court, which upheld an administrative refusal to include the party’s representatives on local election commissions.

Brest authorities block information on Ramanchuk’s visit

22.11.2010 Brest authorities block information on Ramanchuk’s visit

According to Marat Nestsiarenka, activist of Yaraslau Ramanchuk’s campaign team, Brest authorities blocked access to information on the candidate’s visit to the city on 21 November. A number of local state-run media refused to announce the visit due to ‘technical issues’. Brest authorities did not allow Ramanchuk’s campaign activist to post announcements in the city’s public places.

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