Elections to the local councils did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections, coordinators of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” said at a press conference on February 19 in Minsk.
One of the two coordinators, a representative of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Uladzimir Labkovich, summed up the key stages of the electoral process, noting that in spite of the absence of significant violations and obstacles at the stages of registration of nomination groups, collecting signatures and election campaigning, other stages of the election campaign, primarily early voting, counting of the votes by the PECs, were accompanied by numerous manipulations, active use of administrative resources and lack of pluralism.
Aleh Hulak, chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, elaborated on the analysis of the nomination of candidates in a variety of ways, noting that the election commission often refused to register party nominees referring to minor errors in their declarations. Representatives of non-governmental organizations were most often accused of errors in their signature sheets and allegedly invalid signatures. Most of these practices were used against nominees from the Movement "For Freedom": 41.4% of its nominees were denied registration. The situation is similar with the "Tell the Truth" campaign, who lost 39.1% of their nominees.
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