Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Extreme passiveness of election campaign in Sluck

Sluck representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee state an extremely low activity of potential presidential candidates and their initiative groups. The local media and residents show little interest in the elections, too.

According to a member of the BHC Vital Amialkovich, since the beginning of the collection of signatures the observers registered just several electoral pickets of Aliaksandr Lukashenka and one electoral picket of Anatol Liabedzka. They don't have any information about serious collection of signatures by visits to people's apartments, either.

The organizer of the only opposition picket in Sluck Viktar Malochka notes an incredible apathy of local voters: “I went to Sluck from the neighboring Salihorsk where I collect signatures on a daily basis. In our mining capital, people often pay interest, take business cards and sign more actively. In Sluck they may look at the electoral pickets while walking, but don't even come up,” says the member of the electoral team of Mr. Liabedzka. “Moreover, there is much aggression among the local dwellers. They twice tried to tear down my white-red-white flag. There weren't such incidents in Salihorsk. Moreover, people asked for stickers and small flags. But Sluck is the place of a famous anti-Bolshevik uprisong and the birthplace of Mikalai Statkevich.

BHC representative Vital Amialkovich to some extent justifies the apathy of Sluck residents referring to an information vacuum around the elections, kept by the district media: “The only independent newspaper, "Info-Kurjer" can sometimes dedicate several pages to the elections, but sometimes it writes nothing about the elections for weeks. The state-owned newspapers and web resources, such as the newspaper of Sluck District Executive Committee “Slucki Kraj” sometimes publish some official information, or some laudatory articles about Aliaksandr Lukashenka. There's no use speaking about a lively discussion, comments and opinions about the contenders.

The collection of signatures ends in nine days. Time will show whether the district will see a real electoral race. However, there are no hints that Sluck district is going to wake from the inter-election hibernation.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections