“We Want Changes!” and “Deeds After Words, Results After Deeds!” at the picket of a future candidate versus “A Million Jobs” on his T-shirt. Are these all campaign slogans? Human rights activists call for clarification over several warnings issued by district electoral commissions for “illegal campaigning” by some nominees and the absence of claims in a similar situation to the others.
The current election campaign is no exception: the election commissions are likely to have only loyal members. Lawyer Pavel Sapelka has commented on the recent response by the CEC head to his proposal to abandon such criteria ‘political qualities’ in the selection of members of the PECs.
The term of ‘political qualities’, which has no explanation in the electoral law, but remains an important criterion for the selection of candidates to the election commissions, should be removed from the CEC’s Decision No. 18, says Pavel Sapelka, analyst of the campaign Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections.
There will be no transparent counting of votes during this year’s parliamentary elections, said Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the Central Election Commission. The statement reflects the authorities’ current approach to the administration of elections, says Uladzimir Labkovich of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign.
The campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" is a non-partisan initiative and does not intend to support political parties and politicians. The entire election process is assessed solely on the basis of the principles of free, democratic and transparent elections, which can enable the people of Belarus to fully exercise their constitutional right to participate in the government of the country.
Bearing in mind the importance of independent assessment, we, representatives of Belarusian human rights organizations – the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center Viasna – start monitoring of the elections of deputies to the Chamber of Representatives.
On April 27, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the Central Election Commission, met with President Lukashenka to agree on the date of this year’s parliamentary elections. As a result, the vote was set for September 11. Furthermore, Lidziya Yarmoshyna told about the proposals the CEC had reportedly introduced in the electoral process, as demanded by the OSCE recommendations.
Representatives of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" received a response from the Central Election Commission to their proposals on the implementation of the OSCE ODIHR recommendations, which is contrary to previous statements made by Lidziya Yarmoshyna in the media.