MP elections: Belarus students forced to vote early

The students of the National Technical University are being forced to vote early, i.e. on Tuesday or Wednesday, Telegram channel ‘Elections. Belarus’ reports.

According to the channel’s sources, the university administration promised to excuse the students from attending claases on Saturday and Monday. If someone fails to vote, they may not get the days off, the university employees warned.

There are also reports that students living in the dormitories of Minsk State Linguistic University and the International University MITSO are also being compelled to cast their votes in advance. The students of the International Relations Faculty (Belarusian State University) are being invited to the vice dean’s office to have a talk about early voting.

Similar activities have also been spotted in other cities and towns of Belarus. One of the deans of Polotsk State University personally sent students to the polling stations; at Vaukavysk College, students are allowed to vote even without showing their passports.

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On November 12, early voting on the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly kicked off in Belarus. Voters can vote early at polling stations until November 16.

According to independent observers and human rights activists, early voting provides opportunities for falsification of election results. Because of this, during each election campaign, human rights activists note cases of pressure on military personnel, students and civil servants forced to vote early.

In early August, Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a number of decrees to set the dates for the elections to the Council of the Republic and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 7th convocation. The Belarusians will cast their votes for the would-be deputies of the lower chamber of the parliament on 17 November.

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