Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Homieĺ Regional Court turns down Fair World election complaint

The Homieĺ Regional Court considered today a complaint by Uladzimir Siakerka, local leader of the Belarusian Party of the Left "Fair World", against the Presidium of the Regional Executive Committee and the Regional Council of Deputies who refused to include in the regional election commission a representative of the party Viktar Khomich.

One of the criteria for inclusion in the commission was experience of work in electoral commissions. Uladzimir Siakerka stressed that Viktar Khomich was member of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation, deputy of the Regional Council and previously worked on various commissions. "This is a person of principle who would not allow violations of the law in the work of the election commission. This is why, I believe, he was not included. Therefore, there are doubts about the democracy and transparency of the election campaign,” said the regional leader of the Fair World party.

A representative of the executive committee said in court that 24 people were nominated to the commission and 13 persons were included, most of whom (eight people), according to her are members of the public. "We included eight people to make sure that the civil society is most represented in the commission. According to the law, there should be at least one third of representatives of the public in the commission, and we even have more. We only have two civil servants in the commission,” explained the official.

Officials reproached Uladzimir Siakerka that he was not present at the meeting which formed the regional commission, because there he “could have spoken to give a good description of Viktar Khomich.” But could it have changed anything when, according to the staff of the executive committee, the applicants for inclusion in the commission were discussed in advance by a ‘working group’, which had prepared a list of 13 persons presented for approval at the meeting?

A representative of the Regional Council said that the body that creates the commission is not obliged to give explanations regarding the inclusion or non-inclusion of a citizen. "There were 24 applicants, 13 were included, of course, someone will be unhappy,” said he.

As a result, the Court ruled to dismiss the complaint.

The officials’ statement about only two civil servants in the commission raise serious doubts. For example, ‘representatives of the public’ (“Belaya Rus” and the Belarusian Union of Women) Pavel Zhdanovich and Halina Salanets work as director of the State Museum of Military Glory and the director of the State College of Medicine. Unknown citizens nominated deputy head of the organizational and personnel work of the regional executive committee Tamara Lukyanenka, head physician of the hospital of war veterans Aleh Ivantsou and deputy head of the executive committee’s justice department Alla Susarenka. Other ‘representatives of the public, citizens and labor collectives’ are Mikalai Charnysh, Aliaksandr Staratsitarau and Mikalai Stosh, all managers of major government-owned enterprises.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"