Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Brest: signatures in support of Lukashenka's candidacy are collected by “assistant members of his electoral team”

Violations related to the process of collecting signatures in support of Aliaksandr Lukashenka were registered by an observer from Brest.

At 1.00 p.m. the member of Lukashenka's electoral team V. Astapuk was absent from her electoral picket, whereas signatures in support of the nomination of the candidacy of Mr. Lukashenka for the presidential elections were collected by a person who is not authorized to collect signatures.

The citizen introduced herself as M. Marozava, “assistant member of the initiative group of Alisaksandr Lukashenka”. She was unable to answer the observer's question where the aforementioned member of the electoral team was, and didn't reacted to his remark that she had no powers to collect signatures. The observer registered a violation: in his presence M. Marozava took a signatures from the elector Liudmila Karotsich.

The observer also noted that the members of the initiative group for nomination of presidential candidate Aliaksandr Lukashenka used the brochure titled "Memo to assistant members of the initiative group", which had no imprint. According to the member of Lukashenka's team Hanna Pishchyk, she obtained a copy of this brochure from the head of the ideological department of the Maskoŭski district of Brest.

By the way, the memo specifies who and under what conditions can collect signatures. However, this does not prevent “assistant members of the initiative group” from collecting signatures, breaking the law.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" note that the introduction of the category "assistant member" does not correspond to the electoral law, though it was used back during the previous presidential elections.

This year, p. 8 of Resolution No. 18 of the Central Election Commission of July 1, 2015 "On the clarification of the application of Article 61 of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus, which provides the procedure for collecting signatures in support of the persons proposed for nomination as a candidate for President of the Republic of Belarus, during the elections in 2015", reads:

"The information about a voter, referred to in spaces 1 - 5 of subscription sheets can be filled both by the elector and another person at his request, including a member of the initiative group collecting signatures".

However, the Electoral Code not only provides a detailed regulation of the procedure of creation and registration of initiative groups and doesn't provide for delegating their powers to collect signatures to any third persons, but also obliges electoral commissions to find invalid all signatures in a signature sheet, if they were collected by a person who is not a member of the respective electoral team (p. part 16 of Art. 61 of the Electoral Code).

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections