How Belarusians were forced to vote

Belarusians were forced to vote / @rubanau_collage

Belarusians were forced to vote / @rubanau_collage / @rubanau_collage

Ihar Karpenka, head of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, said that no one forced Belarusians to go to the polls. He implied that it's not coercion to go into the audience and announce the upcoming vote.

Belarusians told Euroradio how they were "persuaded" to take part in the "single day of voting". Such practices have been going on for a long time. Maybe the head of the CEC just doesn't know about it.

Marharyta, an employee of a cultural institution in Minsk

"A week before the elections, the director posted an announcement in the common chat, reminding us of the 'single day of voting' on 25 February and that it was our civic duty to go to the polling station. His message was ignored by everyone in the chat room, so the next day he gathered all the staff and repeated what he had writted already in person.

And on the first day of early voting, the director raised the issue again, saying that the elections were under the special control of the management. He demanded proof of participation and threatened that the workers would not receive their bonuses (about 40 per cent of their salaries).

On 25 February, the director again posted an announcement about the elections in the general chat room.

Uladzimir, an employee of a company in the Brest region:

"Our staff is small and almost all the workers are of pre-retirement age. In general they don't give a damn, some of them didn't even know we were going to have elections. But a week before the election, the director came and told me to go and vote, preferably early. He said that the lists would be checked and those who ignored the event would be punished. In particular, such people would be deprived of their bonuses". 

Siarhey, a student at one of Minsk's universities: 

"We didn't have any preelection campaigning. Yes, there were some posters about the upcoming elections in the university and in the dormitory, but nothing more. Last week, the head of department, who is in our chat group, urged everyone to go out and vote because "it's important for her". 

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