Vitsebsk Regional Court turns down Tell the Truth election complaint

2014 2014-01-30T18:09:28+0300 2014-01-30T18:09:28+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Siarhei Vazniak

Siarhei Vazniak

On January 29, one of the leaders of the civil campaign "Tell the Truth" Siarhei Vazniak was appealing to the Vitsebsk Regional Court a refusal to register his campaign teams. As a result, the Court upheld the previous decisions of the district and regional electoral commissions.

The activist was going to run in the Talachyn District and Kokhanava Rural Councils through the collection of signatures. Talachyn District Election Commission did not register his initiative groups, referring to Part 6 of Article 60 of the Electoral Code. Siarhei Vazniak was told that he neither lived nor worked in the territory of the Councils where he was going to run. The activist disagreed to such arguments, trying to prove that he is the chief editor of the national newspaper "Tovarishch", which is distributed throughout Belarus, including in Talachyn district.

However, officials of the district election commission said that the territory of distribution could not be regarded as a place of work. The Vitsebsk Regional Election Commission also refused to side with the activist: his complaint was considered groundless.

The Vitsebsk Regional Court not only supported the previous grounds for refusal of registration, but added a number of new ones, said the chairman of Fair World’s Vitsebsk regional office Mikalai Selivashka, the only representative of the democratic forces in the Regional Electoral Commission:

"As grounds for refusal of registration they mentioned that the newspaper was not distributed by the local post office, and that it was not in the subscription catalog. No explanations were accepted."

The activists present at the trial, realizing that no positive decision would be issued, had left the courtroom before the ruling was announced.

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