Almost a week ago, the head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna said that the required 100,000 signatures for the nomination of a presidential candidate had been collected only by Alyaksandr Lukashenka. However, the information that the observers get on a daily basis proves the signature collection in favor of the acting head of Belarus is not always done according to the law.
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections received another evidence of the use of administrative leverage by the authorities. An ideologist working at the Minsk enterprise Amkador summoned representatives of the structural divisions of the enterprise, distributed petitions and ordered to start collecting signatures for the incumbent head of Belarus.
“They herded us into room to sign. But I personally would not go.”
“They called me to the office. They said you can still sign for several people.”
“They came to me, but I refused.”
But at the Belarusian State Institute of Standardization and Certification they used modern technology to help Lukashenka. Through a system of internal communications, staff were asked to get their passport and come to the personnel department to sign for the permanent leader of Belarus.
ULADZIMIR LABKOVICH, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST:
“It is clear that the administration created conditions during working hours, using the official position, using the dependence of employees in the workplace, forcing them to sign for Lukashenka’s nomination”
The Central Election Commission, which is supposed to, according to the constitution, prevent violations of the electoral legislation and make the necessary interventions in the nominating groups, heard nothing about the violations in signature collection for Lukashenka.
ALENA DMUKHAILA, FRIEND OF CEC:
“Info on concrete facts: who pressured whom at which enterprise we certainly do not have them. You just told me now about Amkador, well, we’ll now think what to do with this information.”
But, according to the CEC friend, even if there are people who come to them with witnesses and evidence, which would confirm that they were forced to put the signatures for the current head of state, the CEC will respond mildly.
ALENA DMUKHAILA, FRIEND OF CEC:
“The CEC has the following measure to apply for general violation of electoral laws – issue of warning to the nominating group or candidate.”
Unlike Mr Lukashenka, other candidate wannabees do not have a state leverage. They only have campaigning. It is symbolic that today the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka arrived at the checkpoint of Amkador.
ANATOL LYABEDZKA, CANDIDATE WANNABEE:
“We have not arrived to Amkador by accident, we received information that people were told in advance t come with passports, to perform a so-called civic duty.”
Without the administrative and financial resources, according to the latest figures that we received from the headquarters, two weeks prior to the end of the stage of signature collection, none of the opposition candidates for the presidency collected even a half of the minimum required 100 thousand signatures of voters. But the Lukashenka’s chief of staff, Mikhail Orda, is boasting half a million autographs.
Yury Salodki, belsat.eu/en/