Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Mahilioŭ: electoral meetings held by Karatkevich and Ulakhovich, Lukashenka and Haidukevich send their proxies

During the election campaign, Mahilioŭ was visited by just two presidential candidates: Mikalai Ulakhovich and the nominee of the campaign “Tell the Truth” Tatsiana Karatkevich. Neither Aliaksandr Lukashenka, not Siarhei Haidukevich came to Mahilioŭ.

The first meeting with Aliaksandr Lukashenka's proxy, Chair of the Mahilioŭ Regional Executive Committee Uladzimir Damaneuski was held on September21 in the Culture House of the MahilioŭAutomobile Plant named after S. Kirov. It was attended by about 200 people.

Then the regional capital was visited by the presidential candidate Tatsiana Karatkevich. Her meeting was held on September 25 at secondary school No. 41 and was attended by about 40 people, including representatives of secret services and members of the election commission. The advertisements about the meeting were posted in the suburb in advance. The candidate told the electors about her program and answered their questions.

The second candidate to visit Mahilioŭ was Mikalai Ulakhovich, who held his meeting in Mahilioŭ Trade College of Consumer Cooperation, and met with employees of the regional consumer society. Judging by the photos from state-run newspapers, his meeting was attended by more than 100 people. The electoral meeting was held on October 1 and was essentially closed to the public.

A meeting with another proxy of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Chair of the TV and Radio Company “ Mahilioŭ” was held in the hall of Building Trust No. 17 on October 1 and was attended by about 100 people. It's worth noting that the head of the Kastryčnicki District Election Commission of Mahilioŭ Kazhamiakin was sitting next to her in the presidium, whereas nothing of the kind was observed during the electoral meetings with other canidates and their proxies.

October 2, another presidential candidate, Siarhei Haidukevich, was to have visited Mahilioŭ. He was expected to come to Building Trust No. 17 and secondary school No. 21. 14 electors came to the first meeting and 9 – to the second. The local leaders of the Liberal-Democratic Party Uladzimir Yefimovich and Dzmitry Yaustratau spoke at them instead of Mr. Haidukevich. The meeting at the building trust was also attended by journalists, members of the election commission and OSCE observers. Thus, only a few people came to listen to the candidate, whose proxy claimed at the TV debates that his party counted 50,000 members.

Summing up the results of the electoral meetings of the presidential candidates and their proxies, human rights defender Barys Bukhel noted the following:

“I have to state that these elections aren't interesting for our citizens. This is evidenced by the small number of citizens who gathered to support Karatkevich and Haidukevich. Ulakhovich met with employees of the organizations that are subordinated to him, therefore it wasn't very difficult for him to gather people to the meeting.”

Mr. Bukhel also points that at the meeting with Lukashenka's proxies it was visibel that the attendees were gathered with the use of the administrative resources, because almost didn't ask questions and dispersed immediately after the end of the meeting.

Let us remind that the presidential election will take place October 11. At present there are four presidential candidates: Siarhei Haidukevich, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Tatsiana Karatkevich and Mikalai Ulakhovich.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"