Updated at 16:29,01-07-2020

Politician: Precinct election commissions are preparing for ballot-stuffing


Precinct election commissions are preparing for ballot-stuffing, Syarhey Kalyakin, a coordinator of the Campaign for Fair Elections, told reporters in Minsk on November 30.

The central election commission has rejected a demand that the ballots be signed by all members of precinct commissions, Mr. Kalyakin said. Handpicked members are signing the papers, and there are reports that they are preparing a second set of ballots for ballot-stuffing, he said.

The central election commission was informed about this practice earlier in the day, Mr. Kalyakin said. The commission's refusal to allow observers to see the content of each ballot clearly confirms the suspicions that precinct commissions will simply report government-ordered results to ensure Alyaksandr Lukashenka's resounding victory, he said.

Mr. Kalyakin criticized the central election commission for what he called distorting the Electoral Code by its directives. In particular, the commission insists that whatever is not mentioned in the Code is inadmissible, he said. For this reason, the commission has banned observers and commission members from staying at polling stations overnight. However, the Electoral Code says that precinct election commissions are responsible for the safekeeping of ballots, Mr. Kalyakin said.
There are no legal barriers to proper election observation, there is just no political will, he concluded.