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MFF begins suing local deputy councils and executive committees

MFF begins suing local deputy councils and executive committees

The Movement For Freedom (MFF) begins suing local deputy councils and executive committees due to the mass non-inclusion of its members in election commissions. Complaints were filed to all regional courts and Minsk City Court.

The complaint text:

‘Only 4 of the 117 MFF members were included in election commissions, namely interpreter Volha Yaramchuk in Brest No. 2 precinct commission, student Nastassia Kirik in Kobrin No. 12 precinct commission, lawyer Aliaksey Haurutsikau in Vitsebsk No. 22 precinct commission, and Naftan Factory worker Siarzhuk Khvastsionak in Pastavi No. 29 precinct commission.

Failure to include the other 113 representatives of ‘The Movement For Freedom’ Human Rights Advocacy Educational Non-Governmental Association in territorial and precinct commissions violates the association’s rights, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of its members.

The representatives nominated by our association have experience of participating in elections and all the professional qualities required to perform the functions of territorial and precinct election commission members, have repeatedly been election observers, as well as agents of candidates for deputies and candidates for President of Belarus.

We believe that the decision on the formation of territorial and precinct election commissions have been taken in advance outside the joint meeting of executive committees and the Council of Deputies Presidium. The meeting, which was held on September 2, 2019, had a formal character and was reduced to a vote for the decision taken in advance outside this meeting.

This was, in fact, a fictitious meeting of these bodies, which merely “legalized” the decision taken by “working groups” outside this meeting. Although it formally seemed that the working groups only “recommended” to include or not to include a certain candidate, the joint meeting had actually unconditionally accepted all the “recommendations” of these “working groups”.

When naming candidates, a working group representative described the “approved” pro-regime candidates extremely positively, while the following characteristic was provided in respect of “non-approved” candidates from the MFF: “the working group is not aware of this candidate’s qualifications”. Moreover, the information about the candidates, which is specified in the MFF Council candidates’ nomination minutes, was not presented.

We believe this decision is illegal, unfounded, and should be reversed. This decision violates the rights of ‘The Movement For Freedom’ Human Rights Advocacy Educational Non-Governmental Association, guaranteed by part 1 of Article 20 of the Public Associations Law of Belarus. According to part 2 of Article 34 of the Electoral Code of Belarus, the bodies engaged in commission formation shall form at least one third of its members from among the representatives of political parties and NGOs."

A session of Hrodna Region Court concerning our complaint will be held on 2019.09.06 at 11:30 a.m.

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