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“The envy of our neighbours, who decide their fate in the elections” — the MFF Youth observed the elections to the European Parl

“The envy of our neighbours, who decide their fate in the elections” — the MFF Youth observed the elections to the European Parl

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The Movement For Freedom (MFF) organized a visit of its activists to Bialystok during the elections to the European Parliament. In just a few days, they not only managed to observe the election campaign and voting, but also met with the city administration.

The delegation of Belarusian observers accredited by the Central Election Commission of Poland visited Bialystok and saw how the election campaign to the European Parliament takes place in Poland, what techniques and methods are used by candidates to gain the trust of citizens, how the struggle between competing parties takes place, said the Head of Belarusian House, MFF member Ales Zarembiuk who patronized the programme on the spot. In addition, young Belarusians visited several polling stations and were present during the vote count.

“The elections are open, and there were no problems anywhere. An open atmosphere of mutual trust prevails in the society, despite the fierce political struggle between the two major parties,” noted Zarembiuk.

He thinks “this is a very interesting experience for young politically active Belarusians, which should be followed, and such system of open democratic elections must be established in Belarus.”

“The voting process is similar to the Belarusian, but polling stations are equipped with transparent ballot boxes,” noted MFF Deputy Chairman Viktar Yanchurevich. “Only accredited journalists are allowed to make photos at the polling stations, and you can observe the vote count only subject to the permission of local authorities. However, people have high confidence in the work of the commissions that have developed over the years of democracy.”

Yanchurevich said one of the methods that supports this trust is the method of formation of election commissions: their personal composition is formed by a computer programme draw from the general list of submitted applications.

“My overall impression is the positive envy of our neighbours, who have the opportunity to decide their own destiny. Everyone understands that their voice is important and affects their life,” said one of the young activists Dzina Petushkova.

She said she was particularly impressed by the ways and methods of campaigning — using the media, social media, posters, banners, branded cars, and even free branded coffee and tea while meeting the people on tour.

“The election process itself is open and transparent. It was also impressive that that the election commission members are chosen randomly by a computer — that is they don’t know each other,” she added.

She expressed her gratitude to the MFF for organizing the participation in the observation and the possibility to use this experience in the future election campaigns in Belarus.

“I was amazed that people are openly engaged in political activities — they hold rallies and pickets, are talking on the street, are handing out flyers and candies with candidate labels, and there are banners all around!” said another representative of the MFF delegation Dziyana Rabekina.

The whole city participates in the elections, she added: “People are invited to take an important decision in the life of their country, and it’s nice that the candidates are fighting for every voter.”

In addition to election observation, the tour participants visited the headquarters of the two major parties of Poland — Platforma Obywatelska and Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS), and met with the head of Bialystok City Council Lukasz Prakor.

Author: Volha Bykouskaya

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