2019 parliamentary elections: Weekly report. October 28 - November 2
Observation of the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus is carried out by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights Center “Viasna” in the framework of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”.
- there were instances of bans on publishing the candidates’ election programs and broadcasting their TV and radio addresses. In most cases, the bans referred to “violating Article 47 of the Electoral Code.” According to the campaign’s experts, the content of this article is interpreted too broadly by the election commissions, which leads to restricting the candidates’ right to freedom of speech and efficiently constitutes censorship;
- there were cases of abusing administrative resources for the purposes of election campaigning by the pro-government candidates, as well as creating obstacles to independent and opposition candidates in their campaigning events;
- the most active coverage of the campaign has been provided by the independent media, which reported on the pickets, warnings and cancellation of registration of opposition candidates, as well as bans on airing their recorded statements. The government-controlled media are limited mostly to official information;
- the local executive committees have not fully implemented the CEC’s order to publish information on the allocation of funds from the special electoral accounts of candidates on the respective web pages devoted to the election campaign.