Karatkevich accused of using false signatures

There is another scandal in the opposition: Tatstsyana Karatkevich’s team has been accused of trying to buy signatures from another opposition structure. The signatures that were supposed ‘to be bought’ had been collected… in 2010!

Ex-leader of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Alyaksei Shein wrote about it in social networks. However, the post has already been removed.

“I wrote what I knew: the BCD administration said that Tatstsyana Karatkevich’s representatives had come to them and tried buying the signatures the BCD had collected for their candidate in 2010,” Shein said. “I cannot tell you the names of those people because I do not know them. The BCD administration was not ready to make the information public.”

It would not be surprising to see such attempts ‘knowing how the opposition candidates were collecting signatures’, Shein added. He also made a sudden confession.

Alyaksei Shein: “I was the BCD co-leader and left the election campaign during the signature collection because I saw no reason to participate in it… The candidates’ teams were sharing signatures. The process became really active in the last days of the signature collection. I am not surprised to hear that somebody tried buying copies of signatures.”

Why would anybody need signatures collected for another person five years ago?

“When I was in charge of the BDC campaign during the collection of signatures. Some activists were bringing false signatures to us,” the former BCD co-leader confessed. “People having access to a data base containing passport numbers simply added them on the list and signed themselves without even knowing how the signatures looked in reality. It was easy to notice false signatures. However, if you have a photocopy of real signatures, you can copy them!”  

Fine, now we know how old signatures can be used for the good of democracy. But did Tatstsyana Karatekvich’s team members really try buying them from the BCD? I asked member of the BCD administration Vital Rymasheuski about it. He agreed to reply on condition that his words would be fully quoted. Here is his answer.

Vital Rymasheuski: “All the rumours about Karatkevich buying signatures from other teams should be put aside. Commenting on rumours would only harm all the democratic forces. A civil commission is ready to check the signatures and Karatkevich’s team is ready to present their signatures to it. If they do it, it will put an end to all the rumours and scandals.”

BCD secretary Dzyanis Sadouski replies to Dzmitryyeu

Head of Karatkevich’s initiative group Andrei Dzmitryyeu does not want to pretend that nothing has happened especially after Fair World leader Syarhei Kalyakin claimed that Karatkevich had not collected 100 thousand signatures.

Andrei Dzmitryyeu: “Let us analyze the situation in a civilised way! If our court worked normally and if it were a civilised country, we would go to court. But we will not go to court, so they should name those people (who came to buy signatures, – Euroradio) as there is nothing to hide. It must be revealed and if there are such people, I will deal with them. But if it is not true, they should admit it and apologise.”

Nevertheless, Tell the Truth is ready to present the collected signatures to the independent commission. If the signatures are real, all the opposition structures should accept Karatkevich as the single opposition candidate at this election, Dzmitryyeu added.

CEC chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna has advised that the opposition avoided ‘such jokes’.

Yarmoshyna: “This is absurd and it is a law violation. You can ask the prosecutor about it. According to the Constitution, election committees are in charge of elections in our country. They are trying to demonstrate that there are some other structures that have the right to replace election committees. They should not joke like this!”

Such a commission will not help the opposition reach understanding, the CEC chairperson thinks. On the contrary, such a check-up will confuse people and make them doubt.

Photo: Zmitser Lukashuk