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Gallup Opinion: It Was Impossible to Organize Independent and Trustworthy Exit Poll in Belarus

2006 2006-03-20T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania
Tel. + 370 5 2120104

Informational press-release
19 March 2006

It was impossible to hold independent and trustworthy exit poll in Belarus.

The public opinion research campaign Gallup Organization has stated today that because of the actions of the Belarusian authorities it decided not to hold the exit poll in Belarus, though it had coordinated a similar exit poll during the election and referendum of 2004 in Belarus.

Rasa Alishauskene, Director General of the Gallup Organization, stated: ‘Several months ago, during the discussion of this project, it became understandable that the secret services of Belarus are going to prevent the independent exit poll, they haunt interviewers and coordinators, distribute knowingly false information about the Gallup Organization and try to create the fearful atmosphere’.

The independent exit poll that was held by the Gallup Organization during the election and the referendum of 2004 showed that the proposal of Aliaksandr Lukashenka to change the constitution with the aim to let him run for new presidential terms, didn’t receive the necessary 50% votes from those who had the right to vote. Only 48,1% voters supported his proposal (the margin of error didn’t exceed 1%).

In the present situation in Belarus it is impossible to hold an independent and trustworthy exit poll that would be free from the state pressurization. Today (on the Election Day) two so called ‘sociological services’ of Belarus have given publicity to their ‘exit polls’ before the midday, though the voting is going on till late evening. One of these services states it has questioned 6 638 electors at 2 800 polling stations - less than 3 voters per polling station! Such actions that are supported by the official Minsk, once again show that those, who have official permission to hold ‘exit poll’, don’t have the slightest idea about the way these polls are conducted.

We decided not to hold the exit poll of voters at the Presidential election in Belarus, because it is absolutely clear to us that the independent measurement of the election results under the present authorities in Belarus is impossible.

Rasa Alishauskene
Director General
The Gallup Organization

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