Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Hrodna officials protract registration of BHC representative for monitoring of formation of territorial commissions

July 8, human rights activist Sviatlana Rudkouskaya came to Hrodna City Executive Committee to get registered as a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee for observing the joint sitting of the Presidium of Hrodna City Executive Committee and Hrodna City Council on forming territorial election commissions.

Electoral Code of Belarus provides that the preparation and conduct of elections shall be open and public (Art.13, part 1 of the Electoral Code). According to Art.3 of the Law "On local government and self-government in the Republic of Belarus" local self-government is based, among others, on the principle of transparency. According to Art.39, part 2 of the Law, the sittings of executive and administrative authorities can be attended by representatives of state bodies and other organizations, bodies of territorial public self-government, as well as citizens, according to the established order.

In accordance with the legislation, the public association "Belarusian Helsinki Committee" sent an appropriate message to the Executive Committee via E-mail. Then it was discovered that the message didn't come to office No. 8 of Hrodna City Executive Committee. However, the staff of the committee knew that it was registered as an electronic letter in the general department. They said that the letter was passed to the head of the organizational department, who was out of office. Rudkouskaya then left her telephone number, asking to be informed about the passage of the letter to officie No. 8. However, for two days she received no telephone calls. On July 10 Sviatlana Rudkouskaya repeatedly appealed to office No. 8 of the executive committee to be put in the register. However, her request was denied and she was sent to the general department. There she was told that since July 8 her direction for the sitting of the territorial commission had been held by Aleh Bialinski, manager of Hrodna City Executive Committee, who was responsible for the conduct of the elections, including the formation of the territorial commissions. How many days will he continue keeping the paper is unknown.

Meanwhile, another observer of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Raman Yurhel, had no problems with registering at Hrodna Regional Executive Committee.