During early voting ballot rigging is as easy as ABC. Zmitser Kaspyarovich, a member of Minsk city election commission, states that the number of signatures and the number of issued ballots does not match in some districts of the Belarusian capital.
For example, on October 8, election precinct No 25 (Savetski district) issued 146 ballots, but only 109 persons signed. In general, the campaign ‘The Right of Choice’ that is monitoring the process of voting, said that the discrepancy between the actual turnout and official figures is about 5%.
“What makes the difference between the current campaign and the elections-2010 is turnout figures which are really off the charts. The regime have mobilized as many people as they could. in some districts there were so-called ‘carousels’, i.e. several people are taken to an election precinct where they are not registered, but they receive ballots, vote, and then move to another precinct in an orderly way,” Dzyanis Sadouski, a coordinator of the campaign ‘Right of Choice 2015’, says.
In addition, independent observers have recorded numerous cases of forcing people to vote early. In Babruysk senior managers of Belshina enterprise excused employees from work so that the latter could vote early.
In the period of October 6-9, observers recorded 904(!) violations of the election law, including improper preservation of ballot boxes (the premises where they are stored, were not sealed) and voting for another person or without proof of identity.
Also the rights of independent observers are violated: Tatsiana Shauchenkava, an employee of the Center of Social Services, has been fired due to her monitoring the elections.
“You work for a state institution, the state pays you a salary. And where are you getting into? Did you want to earn extra money? Then let them feed you now! We do not need you here, give in your notice,” Tatsiana quotes the words of the director.
The campaign ‘Right of Choice 2015’ will present the final reports on October 12, at the office of the Belarusian Popular Front in Minsk.
The campaign consists of eight organizations: the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), the Belarusian Christian Democratic Party, civil campaign ‘Tell the Truth”, movement ‘For Freedom”, the Belarusian Popular Front, the Belarusian Party ‘Green’, the independent trade union of radio-electronic industry, the organizing committee of the Party of Freedom and Progress. Its main goals are protecting of the citizens’ free exercise of choice by prevention of violations of the law at all stages of the election campaign, fixing violations and reacting to them.
Nastassia Hralovich, belsat.eu