Creation of initiative groups for collection of signatures in support of candidates’ nomination does not show any significant difference in intensity from its regular level for parliamentary elections in Belarus: the total of 439 initiative groups applied for registration. The commissions are still considering the applications. However, it is likely that the percentage of rejected applications will be quite small. The main reason for rejection – submission of application documents by a person other than the potential candidate — is essential for evaluation of current rejections (initiative groups for nomination of the former presidential candidates Mikola Statkevich (who is behind the bars at the moment) and Ales Mikhalevich (a political refugee)).
The local authorities determined the places where initiative groups are not allowed to collect signatures in support of their candidates. In a number of cases these places include most popular and crowded city territories.
None of the complaints submitted by the United Civil Party and BPF Party to Minsk city court and regional courts about non-inclusion of their representatives in district election commissions were satisfied. Composition of the commissions remained unchanged. Representation of the opposition forces in the commissions is only 3%.
Observers register significant participation of the executive bodies in the work of the district election commissions, as well as other cases of administrative resources used for the benefit of the pro-governmental candidates (such as assistance in campaigning).
OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission on the deployment of the parliamentary election observation mission visited Belarus. Just before that chair of the Central Election Commission Lidia Yarmoshyna attended the conference on election organizing in Vienna, held by the OSCE.
The regime keeps up the dynamics of persecution and repression of its opponents. That does not help create the climate of openness and transparency during the election. In particular, we, again, have registered several cases of preventive administrative arrests on fabricated charges of disorderly conduct. KGB detained a number of persons in conjunction with intrusion of the Swedish plane in the air space of Belarus, which scattered teddy-bears with notes in support of freedom and democracy in Belarus.
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