Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Kryčaŭ District Executive Committee sends candidates to stadium

Stadium “Sož”, Kryčaŭ
Stadium “Sož”, Kryčaŭ

September 7, the Kryčaŭ DEC adopted ruling №22-5 «On information security and creating the conditions for pre-election campaign of candidates for president of the Republic of Belarus”, published on September 9 on the website of the local newspaper " Kryčaŭskaje Žyccio".

The DEC officials designated just one site for outdoor electoral meetings in the whole Kryčaŭ district – the stadium “Sož” in Kryčaŭ. Such meetings can be held by the presidential candidates and their candidates after notifying the authorities.

What concerns indoor meetings, they can be held in the Kryčaŭ District Cultural Center, the assembly halls of organizations, Houses of Culture, clubs and officers of the village executive committees.

The DEC also determined the places for placing campaign materials of candidates: information booths located in the premises for voting, district and village executive committees, enterprises, organizations and institutions of the district, shopping facilities.

The ruling contains a special paragraph prohibiting the placement of printed campaign materials in other places, not designated for it. This means that the placement of campaign materials outdoors is factually banned in Kryčaŭ.

The BHC observer at the Kryčaŭ District Election Commission Siarhei Niarouny notes that by taking this decision Kryčaŭ authorities refused from any liberalization of the electoral process. According to him, the local authorities are well aware that Aliaksandr Lukashenka won't come to Kryčaŭ, that's why they decided to send other presidential candidates to campaign and organize pickets at the stadium “Sož” that is located quite far from the city center and is unfrequented by people.

This stadium is traditionally designated as the site for electoral events during the elections, because their effectiveness there is very low. During the parliamentary elections of 2012 an electoral picket was held at “Sož” by the then parliamentary candidate Valery Karankevich (pictured). However, just several people could see the picket, as normally people walk there very seldom.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"