Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Mahilioŭ: No signs of activity on sixth day of campaigning

According to local human rights defenders, there have been no campaigning activities in Mahilioŭ, as six days have passed since election campaigning was officially allowed in the city.

The situation is commented upon by election observer Barys Bukhel:

“It turns out, that so far there is nothing to observe, we can see no activity by any of the four presidential candidates’ campaign teams, as if there were no elections at all.”

Another human rights activist Aliaksei Kolchyn says he has not seen a single campaigning event during the six days:

“It’s quiet, both on the part of Lukashenka's opponents and by his supporters. Normally, Lukashenka’s team takes the initiative only when they see an alternative candidate in the streets. As long as there is no alternative, there will be no activity on their part.”

Siarhei Laputsin, Tatsiana Karatkevich’s authorized representative in Mahilioŭ, says their team has not held any campaign activities in the city yet:

“I have sent a notice to the executive committees, but no pickets have been staged yet, as there are no campaign materials that we can give out to people. Accordingly, there is no distribution of materials in mailboxes. A meeting with Tatsiana Karatkevich is scheduled for September 23. I have phoned various enterprises and organizations, asking for assistance in arranging meetings with their employees, but so far no permission has been received, as the managers keep referring to other activities and asked to call back in a couple of days.”

Dzmitry Yaustratau, an activist of the Liberal Democratic Party, says the party is not planning many activities to campaign for the party leader Siarhei Haidukevich:

“As far as I know, there will be no pickets. As for distributing flyers and other printed materials, I cannot say anything for certain – it needs to be clarified. But you must understand that our presidential candidate is a well-known person who has been running for President earlier, and that he has his own objective in participating in the campaign.”

Local observers have been unable to contact the team of presidential candidate Mikalai Ulakhovich. According to Barys Bukhel, his team are almost invisible in the city. During the collection of signatures, they were able to gather only about 1,000 signatures, so the observers do not expect them to actively campaign.

The campaigning stage of the presidential election started on September 11 and will be completed the day before the voting day, October 10. The election is scheduled for October 11.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"