The head of the Aliaxandr Milinkievich initiative group, Aliaxandr Bukhvostau demands the right to appear on Belarusian television, saying that Viktar Sheiman "is presenting to the voters untrue information".
This is what the complaint sent to the National State Television Company and Central Election Committee said.
Below is the text of the complaint:
“On 24 January 2006 the Belarusian National TV Channel showed an interview with the head of the initiative group in support of the nomination of Lukashenka as a candidate for the president of Belarus. Viktar Sheiman reported on the course of the signature collection performed by the initiative group, of which he is the head. The TV journalists also claimed that they had appealed to the other initiative groups, which, allegedly, refused to appear on television. This is not true to fact and presents to the voters distorted information and defames the other contenders. The Milinkievich initiative group has never received any proposals to make a speech or comment on the presidential election campaign.
Article 6 of the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus guarantees the principle of equality to all election process participants.
Article 46 of the Code also guarantees equal opportunity for the use of the governmental media.
Part 3 of Article 49 of the Election Code of Belarus guarantees the right to appear in the media with refutation of untrue information.
The commentary of the channel journalists saying that representatives of the other initiative groups apart from the Lukashenka group do not want to provide information points out to deliberate distortion of the facts, the use of the state-controlled media with a view to agitating for Lukashenka, and also discredits the other initiative groups. Also, such actions by the state-controlled media indicate full disregard of the principle of equality for all election process participants, laid down in the Election Code of the Republic of Belarus.
Also, Viktar Sheiman said in the interview that the Lukashenka initiative group had been receiving complaints from the voters regarding the current procedure used for giving prescribed drugs in pharmacies. The Ministry of Health allegedly took measures to simplify the procedure used to give out drugs. Then he continued to say that the complaints regarding the provision of apartments to servicemen and officers of interior organs were met by preparing a presidential decree on increasing the social protection of this category of people.
These actions violation part 8 of Article 61 of the Election Code of Belarus. This article forbids collection of signatures by means of offering remuneration or using the organization’s administration. The help provided to the electors by using the powers of the incumbent president means deliberate use of the official position with a view to collecting signatures in support of the nomination as a presidential candidate.
Also, in this interview Mr. Sheiman indicated the location of the public reception room and election headquarters of Lukashenka. The buildings indicated are on the balance of the Main Economic Office of the Administration of the President of Belarus. This fact indicates that the buildings owned by the state are used for the election campaign of one of the pretenders. Proceeding from the principle of equality of all participants of the election process, premises for election headquarters must be provided to the election headquarters of other candidates on the same terms and conditions as to the Lukashenka initiative group.
On the basis of Part 6 of Article 49 of the Election Code of Belarus I REQUEST:
1. »»allow the head of the initiative group in support of nomination of Mr. Milinkievich as a candidate for the position of the president of Belarus to appear in the Panorama program on the First National Channel of Belarus;
2. strictly observe the legislation of Belarus, when covering elections and other political processes in Belarus;
3. The Central Election Committee of Belarus must cause the National State Television and Radio Company to allow the head of the initiative group in support of nomination of Mr. Milinkievich for the position of the president of Belarus to appear in the Panorama program;
4. The Central Election Committee must announce the terms and conditions under which the state-owned premises are used by the election headquarters of Lukashenka and provide the same opportunity to the election headquarters of Milinkievich.««