Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Two observers get deprived of accreditation

Piatro Markelau, observer of the campaign "Right to Choose" from the Movement "For Freedom"
Piatro Markelau, observer of the campaign "Right to Choose" from the Movement "For Freedom"

As reported by the movement “For Freedom”, Piatro Markelau, an observer of the Movement "For Freedom" from the campaign "Right to Elect" has been deprived of accreditation.

He has monitored the voting at polling station №10 in the Pieršamajski district in Minsk in the framework of the youth initiative "87%". He organized a video streaming from the polling station, but its continuation is questionable, since members of the election commission prohibited him to use electricity.

“In the afternoon, the precinct election commission held a sitting, at which I was deprived of accreditation”, told Mr. Markelau to the press-service of “Right to Elect”.

According to him, 8 complaints have been filed against him by pro-governmental observers and PEC members, all for invented reasons. “I wanted to photograph these papers, but the commission chaipersons forbade to do it”, explained the observer.

He intends to continue the observation and is preparing an appeal against the annulment of his accreditation, and two more appeals regarding the failure of members of the PEC to seal the ballot box and the presence of unidentified persons at the polling station.

“Today is just the second day of early voting”, commented on the withdrawal of accreditation from the observer of the Movement “For Freedom” its First Deputy Chairman Yury Hubarevich. “We forecast an increase in the number of such incidents on Saturday and Sunday.” As stated by him, the experience of the previous elections show that PECs don't need observers, as they can register violations. “The story evidently repeats during these elections”, concluded Mr. Hubarevich.

As reported by the “European Radio for Belarus”, another observer of "Right to Elect”, member of an independent trade union Dzmitry Zakharau was deprived of accreditation at polling station No. 23 of the Partyzanski district of Minsk.

The reason was the report of an observer from the pro-governmental Belarusian Republican Youth Union and a member of the precinct election commission, who accused the observer of questioning an elector who has voted at the precinct in violation of Art. 13 of the Electoral Code, which prohibits observers to hold such questioning, about which he had been warned by the chair of the election commission.

However, Dz. Zakharau allegedly started phoning to the girl, questioned by him, asking her who had forced her to vote early. After that, the commission decided to annul his accreditation.

The observer, on his part, argues that he has talked with the girl outside the precinct. The campaign “Right to Choose-2015” is preparing a complaint on the matter.