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Court orders election commission to register disabled man as candidate

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Court decision / Euroradio

The Minsk City Court has satisfied the complaint of Yauhen Shauko and obliged the city election commission to register the chairman of the central council of the public association "Republican Association of Wheelchair Users" as a candidate for the Kupalauski electoral district. A week ago, the district commission refused to register this citizen of Minsk believing that some of the signatures collected for him to be invalid. Yauhen filed a lawsuit.

Chairman of the Central Council of the public association "Republican Association of Wheelchair Users" Yauhen Shauko / Euroradio

The Minsk Election Commission doubted some of the addresses of those who signed for me," Yauhen told Euroradio. "I had to check it personally. Together with my colleagues, I was able to visit a small part of the people form the list that I had. It turned out that people do live at the addresses they indicated, and they have the appropriate documents. Some had temporary registration, others had permanent registration".

Voters supported and helped collect evidence

When Yauhen explained the reason for his visit, voters allowed him to make copies of documents. Yauhen understands that if he had been replaced by someone he knew, the persuasions might not have worked.

"Imagine your doorbell ringing at 8 pm and person asking you not only to show your passport, but also to take a picture of the document," he laughs. "Therefore, I had to come personally to explain the situation, that the fate of a person who is registered as a candidate for deputy but who is being stalled depends on this particular voter". 

The CEC sent clarifications that helped Shauko win the trial

In a wheelchair, Yauhen went to 11 addresses. Exactly that many signatures had to be confirmed in order to be registered. And while he was sure of ten, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, chairwoman of the Central Election Commission, helped him to sort out the last one.  

"The day before yesterday, I met with her, I showed evidence, said that I was going to court," recalls Yauhen. "I said that the issue with the last, 11th signature is being resolved: the person lives in the specified place and has a contract of rent. According to the CEC chair, this contract is a document confirming the registration and the person had the right to vote for me. Earlier at the session of the city election commission I was told that it was not a document. The CEC sent me explanations, which helped me win the court. If it hadn't been for this certificate, my proof in the form of a contract would have been rejected".

Yauhen hopes to become a deputy. Since he himself uses a wheelchair, he understands the problems of people with disabilities. In addition, in his opinion, it is necessary to solve acute problems in healthcare. For example, to simplify the system of registration of medicines. 

"If a drug or some medical device is registered in the European Union, Russia or the U.S., such registration should be automatically recognized in Belarus," said Yauhen. "Thus, we will achieve a reduction in the cost of some drugs, as well as increase in their range and availability".