Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Salihorsk district newspaper criticizes observers for evaluation of process of creating district election commission

The newspaper of Salihorsk District Executive Committee “Šachcior” violates the principle of electoral neutrality. The Executive Secretary of the edition Natallia Paulenka decided to struggle with the “unknown bold citizens” who “scribble articles in the Internt and try to misinform Salihorskers”.

In her propagandist article the woman, without calling the names, questions the expression a the representative of the Belaruisan Helsinki Committee Leanid Markhotka about the formal nature of the establishment of the Salihorsk District Election Commission on the scenario that had been prepared in advance. Referring to a 37-minute recording of the Salihorsk TV, the member of “Šachcior” staff tries to disprove his statement that the sitting of the Salihorsk District Executive Committee and Salihorsk District Council at which the election commission was established lasted only 15 minutes.

Mr. Markhotka gave the following comment regarding the publication of the article in the pages of the district state-owned newspaper: “ I honestly do not know the real motivation of Mrs. Paulenka,
who in her opus actually described me as some bold man. I can only say with certainty that if her goal was a reflection of reality, then, as a professional journalist, she should have appealed to me for a comment. The Commission has my contacts. In this case, Natallia, and perhaps even the readers would realize that only 15 out of the 37 minutes of the sitting had been dedicated to the establishment of the election commission, I had specially noted the time. The remaining time was dedicated to the discussion of the issues that had nothing to do with the elections – such as the harvesting and the beautification of the city.”

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections