Election Campaign: Provocations and Pressurization of Electors Who Put Signatures for Nomination of Independent Candidates
When Human Rights Center “Viasna” analyzed the stages of the Parliamentary election that have already passed, having information about constant pressurization of members of initiative groups of the citizens who intend to become candidates to the Parliament we predicted that soon the people who put their signatures in support of independent and democratic candidates would be pressurized. It is easier to take revenge at them then members of initiative groups. It happens during this period of the election campaign. Moreover, there have already started open provocations with the aim not to register such candidates.
For instance, the independent candidate Uladzimir Zhubarkin who intends to run in Kastrychitskaya election circuit No. 19 of Vitsebsk collected the necessary number of signatures for being nominated a candidate and filed documents for registration on 6 September. On 8 September he received a telephone call with the request to come to sitting of election commission. At this sitting there were read two applications -- by Katsiaryna Yaskina and Naslednikava. In the first application it was stated that a young woman asked Katsiaryna Yaskina to put signature in support of Zhubarkin, promising to her money in the case he won the election. Naslednikava stated that unknown persons collected signatures in support of Zhubarkin and also said that she would receive money in the case of his victory. These persons didn’t show their certificates of members of the initiative group of U. Zhubarkin’s initiative group.
These applications were a great surprise for Uladzimir Zhubarkin. According to him, only one man from his initiative group, not young women and several unknown persons, collected signatures in the house where the applicants lived. Zhubarkin considers this incident as obvious provocation with the aim to hinder his registration as a candidate and thinks the women could write the applications under pressure.
However, it’s for court to decide on these incidents, because Uldadzimir Zhubarkin is going to sue for protection of his business reputation.
Human Rights Center “Viasna” thinks it is the beginning of the large-scale campaign, aimed at non-registration and discrediting of independent and democratic candidates.