Double standards or negligence of election officials?
“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.
Over the last week, observers of the campaign Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections reported a few warnings for alleged campaigning issued by the district election commissions to a number of potential candidates for the Parliament. In particular, on July 12, the DEC of the Baranavičy-based District No. 6 issued warnings to two contenders, Mikalai Charnavus, who was collecting signatures wearing a T-shirt reading “A Million Jobs”, and Yury Kazakevich for a banner saying “We Want Changes!” Following this, on 13 July, Kazakevich received a similar warning from DEC No. 5.
Meanwhile, observers deployed in Minsk can see a banner of Parliament contender Aliaksei Sokal, which bears the inscription “Deeds After Words, Results After Deeds!” However, there is no information the future candidate was penalized by DEC No. 107.
Experts of the campaign Human Rights Defenders For Free Elections are trying to clarify the situation. One of the campaign coordinators, Valiantsin Stefanovich, has written to district election commission No. 107 in Minsk asking the election officials to investigate the case of alleged illegal campaigning by pro-government contender Aliaksei Sokal, an incumbent member of the Minsk City Council.
The observer refers to the principle of uniform application of the electoral law, saying that his allegations are confirmed by a photo taken during the future candidate’s election picket.
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.