Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


First sittings of precinct election commissions not held in Salihorsk

This conclusion was made by a local observer for the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Leanid Markhotka, who tried to get into four such meetings.

“Four polling stations are located at Salihorsk secondary school No. 1. I intended to get accredited at them as an observer from the BHC, but didn't manage to get to the first sittings. I tried to find the schoolmaster, who usually chairs precinct election commissions, and even asked the cleaner when the sittings of the precinct election commission were held. Pitifully enough, I haven't found anybody there,” says Mr. Markhotka.

The secretary of Salihorsk district election commission Iryna Chyhir explained it by the fact that members of the election commissions knew one another very well and could resolve all issues over the telephone or meet elsewhere.

Leanid Markhotka regards this situation as absurd:

“It's a nonsense. There are legally determined places, why should they meet somewhere else or decide anything over the phone? Mrs. Chyhir was unable to explain why the territorial commission works in its place, whereas the precinct ones work over the phone. Even more absurd is the statement that all members of the precinct commission know one another. Of course, they work in one school, but this is not the way election commissions must be formed, otherwise one may then proceed to forming such commissions by the kinship principle.

According to the human rights defender, the same things are observed in the villages. The first sittings of PECs aren't held there either, and the regular work of these commissions will start only at the end of September. As a result of such illegal inaction, civil society activists have no opportunity to get registered as observers at precinct election commissions.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"