Election commission refuses to register vlogger’s initiative group

On Friday, the Central Election Commission (CEC) has considered the issues of registering initiative groups of wannabe candidates for President of the Republic of Belarus.

The group of incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka was registered under #1; additionally, the commission had no questions to the team of Aleh Haydukevich, the son of Lukashenka’s longstanding competitor Syarhei Haydukevich.

The CEC denied registration to popular Belarusian vlogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski referring to the alleged violation of the submission procedure. The candidature of Tsikhanouski meets the requirements of the electoral law and he can run for the presidency, CEC officials admitted. As Syarhei Tsikhanouski is currently in custody (he was sentenced to a 15-day jail term for participating in unauthorised mass events), all the necessary documents were signed and filed by his wife Svyatlana.

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However, since the law does not provide for an election agent’s signing powers, only a person who intends to campaign for the presidency must sign the documents, the CEC stressed.

In early May, Tsikhanouski, the author of Youtube channel Страна Для Жизни ( A Country for Life) held meetings with the subscribers in several Belarusian cities and towns. The local authorities made attempts to thwart the events; later, many participants were detained or summoned to the police.

The vlogger has the right to appeal against the decision in the next three days.

As of Thursday evening, more than 30 persons filed the documents for registration. As reported earlier, the 2020 presidential election is scheduled for August, 9. Over the past week, many people have profiled their presidential ambitions, including former MP Hanna Kanapatskaya, Belarusian hi-tech park founder Valery Tsapkala, banker Viktar Babaryka, and others.

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