Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

CEC denies registration as candidate

The central election commission upheld 11 out of the 53 complaints about denials of registration as parliamentary candidates that it considered between August 28 and August 30.

In particular, the commission granted candidate status to Lyudmila Dzenisenka, a member of the "Spravedlivy Mir" Belarusian Party of the Left; Ryhor Lyabedka, a junior research worker at the Physics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences; Artur Eshbayew, a member of the "Spravedlivy Mir" party; Uladzimir Malyarchuk, a member of the United Civic Party (UCP); Volha Kavalkova, an activist of Belarusian Christian Democracy who was nominated by the UCP; former Defense Minister Pavel Kazlowski; Aleh Kvitko, a member of the "Spravedlivy Mir" party; Pavel Spiryn, a housing maintenance worker; comedian Yawhen Kryzhanowski, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party; Syarhey Karpovich, a member of the Belarusian Popular Front, and Lyubow Shomchanka, a senior lecturer at Belarusian National Technical University.

The central election commission upheld registration denials for, among others, Alyaksandr Milinkevich, leader of the Movement for Freedom; Mikhail Pashkevich, an activist of the Tell the Truth!" movement, prominent opposition activist Artur Finkevich and environmentalist Heorhiy Lepin.

The central election commissions advisory members without voting rights criticized district election commissions for their discriminatory approach. In particular, Syarhey Kalyakin, leader of the "Spravedlivy Mir" Belarusian Party of the Left, said that with the help of "bureaucratic casuistry," district commissions carried out "the political cleansing of the electoral field, preventing people unwanted by authorities from running in the elections."

Viktar Karnyayenka, the central election commissions advisory member representing the UCP, highlighted the fact that district election commissions did not try to help people who wanted to exercise their right to be a parliamentary candidate and, on the contrary, tried to find even the slightest flaws in the documents submitted by applicants.

Ihar Lyalkow, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front, pointed out that experts enlisted by the district commissions cast doubt only on the signatures that had been given in support of opposition parliamentary contenders.

However, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the central election commission, told reporters that the "rhetoric" chosen by advisory members of the commission who represented opposition parties to allege bias in district election commissions decisions "has nothing to do with reality." According to her, the competence of the district election commissions for these elections is considerably higher than the competence of the commissions that worked during previous elections and the decisions that they made on registration applications were much more balanced.

Some of the parliamentary hopefuls who were denied registration as candidates plan to appeal the denials to the Supreme Court of Belarus.