1. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In its “Temporary Monitoring Report on the 2010 Local Elections”, the initiative “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” has welcomed the amendments to the electoral code, which were adopted on 4th January in line with the demands of the ODIHR-OSCE and local experts. Of particular importance is the removal of several restrictions on the nomination and
registration of candidates. However, the lack of transparency in the assessment of potential candidates’ applications continues to enable the election commissions to treat candidates critical of the regime in a discriminatory manner.
In spite of the amendments to the electoral code, the domestic election observers see no substantial progress towards a democratisation of the election process. Similarly to during previous election campaigns, the 2010 local elections in
During the entire election process, from the formation of the election commissions and the nomination of candidates up to the election campaign itself, enormous acts of manipulation were observed which disadvantaged those candidates critical of the regime. For example, local authorities and security services targeted candidates critical of the regime and their supporters with acts of repression. State companies and public institutions were directly involved in supporting the election campaign activities of candidates loyal to the regime. Activists and members of the opposition were put under pressure by their superiors at work or made redundant. State media provided barely any information about the elections and campaigned for candidates loyal to the regime.
There were numerous cases of opposition candidates’ election campaign materials and radio appearances being censored. In particular, grave irregularities were found during the early and home voting procedures, and during the vote counting process. In addition, almost all appeals which were submitted before, during and after election day, were rejected by the responsible election commission.
The initiative “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” demands the following amendments to the electoral code:
A. The introduction of legally prescribed criteria for the assessment of candidacies for the regional and local election commissions;
B. The opportunity for representatives of political parties who put forward candidates to be accepted onto the election commissions;
C. The removal of the possibility to ban election campaign events at central locations by he local authorities;
D. The restriction of the early voting process by introducing clear criteria for its application;
E. Restriction of home voting with mobile ballot boxes: the introduction of supervision of the mobile voting process by election observers and candidates’ representatives. These should testify to the lawful nature of the home votes with their signatures;
F. The creation of collective vote counting by the members of the election commission and the separate announcement of the results from early voting, home voting and the votes from election day itself;
G. The possibility for domestic election observers and their representatives to be able to carry out unrestricted observation of the vote counting process;
H. The expansion of domestic election observers’ activities during allstages of the election campaign.
Please download the complete version of the report HERE, where you can find detailled information concerning the following topics:
1. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
4. ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION
5. REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES
6. ELECTION CAMPAIGN
7. EARLY VOTING PROCESS AND ELECTION DAY
8. INVESTIGATION OF APPEALS
The previous editions of the newsletter can be found on the European Exchange website:
Report 1: Human Rights Defenders Start Monitoring the Local Elections
Report 2: Alterations to the Electoral Code
Report 3: Few Members of the Opposition in the Local Election Commissions in spite of the New Electoral Code
Report 4: Members of the Opposition Boycott the Elections
Report 7: Domestic Election Observers Criticise Unfair Election Campaign Conditions Report 8: Report 9:
Report 8:Enormous levels of manipulation during the local elections in Belarus
Report 9:Only ten representatives of opposition parties elected onto local councils