Human rights defenders: Authorities limit presidential wannabes’ right to campaign

Photo: Alisa Hanchar / Belsat.eu

In the run-up to the 2020 presidential vote, the number of places designated for pre-election campaigning has been cut, the initiative ‘Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections’ reports.

“The analysis of local executive committees’ decisions on campaigning venues shows a sharp reduction [in their number] compared to previous election campaigns, which severely limits not only the rights of potential presidential hopefuls, but also the voters’ rights to receive information about presidential candidates,” human rights activists say.

According to them, the corresponding decisions were made by the executive committees against the advice of the Central Election Commission. The agency did recommend designating any places that were not prohibited уфкдшук, they stressed.

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“Half of the campaign’s observers noted that the venues earmarked for campaigning were either unsuitable for such purposes or sparsely visited. Some of them are remote and hard-to-reach, especially for older voters and people with disabilities,” the report reads.

The campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” has been launched by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and human rights centre Viasna (Spring).

In Minsk, campaigning is allowed only in six places; all of them are far from the city centre.

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