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Belarus elections: Babaryka says Lukashenka violates electoral laws

Viktar Babaryka / Euroradio​

Potential presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka on Monday filed a statement with the Central Election Commission, submitting a list of election law violations observed during the ongoing electoral campaign. 

Mr. Babaryka, who worked as BelGazpromBank CEO before launching his presidential bid, pointed to the facts when workers at state-owned enterprises were forced to put signatures for the incumbent President Lukashenka. He also drew the attention of the Central Election Commission to the events of election campaigning and defamation of other potential contenders by Lukashenka.

The violations were observed at the Belarusian State University, Neman glass factory in Hrodna, Mahilou University, Brest Regional Children’s Hospital, Minsk Trolley-bus Depot No4, and other enterprises, according to Babaryka.

He referred to Lukashenka’s speech on 29 May when meeting workers at the Minsk Tractor Works, widely covered by state media. During the meeting, Lukashenka poured criticism at Babaryka and other contenders.

“I was accused of spreading false information (“petty bluffing and lies”). [President Lukashenka also claimed] that foreign capital finances my campaign. It is something that can easily justify my non-registration as a presidential candidate,” Babaryka wrote in his appeal to CEC.  

He asked the Central Election Commission to study the violations committed by Lukashenka’s nomination group and refuse Lukashenka the registration as a candidate if office abuse by Lukashenka is confirmed.

If CEC finds out that people were forced to sign for Lukashenka, Babaryka suggests declaring all of such signature sheets invalid.

The former banker also asked for an opportunity to denounce Lukashenka’s accusations on all media platforms and TV channels, which distributed Lukashenka’s allegations.

He also asked that his team’s signature collectors be provided with the same access to state-sector workers as Lukashenka’s nomination group during working hours and at their job locations.

“We want to understand: if this is allowable [for Lukashenka], then it is allowable for all the candidates. Does it mean that I can use the administrative resource of state-owned enterprises in a similar manner? Am I allowed to offend all presidential contenders with impunity? If we get a confirmation for all of that, what kind of election is it going to be?” Babaryka explained in his comments for TUT.BY

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