Picks of the week
This year’s parliamentary elections will go down in history as the vote with the lowest ever representation of opposition forces in the precinct election commissions, observers of “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” have concluded after analyzing the official statistics published by the Central Election Commission.
As few as 21 persons representing the opposition parties have been elected as members of a total of 5,785 commissions. As a result, their representation accounts for only 0.55 % of the entire polling station officials.
Domestic observers stress that the record low is the outcome of a deliberate discriminative approach and is due to the absence of legal guarantees for equal representation of various actors in electoral management bodies.
Siarhei Piatrukhin, a blogger in Brest known for his criticism of the city authorities, who was sentenced to a $9,000 fine as a result of a criminal defamation trial, may face new criminal charges for failure to pay the penalty, palitviazni.info said.
The blogger says the deadline is near and he will most likely miss it.
“I do not understand how the courts can impose such heavy fines. As for new criminal charges, as far as I know, it is for the persons who refuse to pay fines. And I do pay as much as I can and I do not hide from them,” Piatrukhin said.
He says that community service would be a good alternative to the monetary penalty.
The Supreme Court has announced the date for the appeal hearing in the capital punishment case of Viktar Paulau. It will be held on November 12, according to activists of “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus”.
Paulau was sentenced to death on July 30, after being found guilty of double murder.
The verdict was this year’s second death penalty, after the sentencing of Aliaksandr Asipovich on January 9.