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Local elections: Opposition candidate’s rally disrupted in Orsha


An opposition candidate’s meeting with voters was disrupted in Orsha, the human rights website Viasna reports.

Alyaksandr Bulauka who runs for a seat on the city council on behalf of the Belarusian Party of the Left 'Fair World' wanted to meet with voters on Sunday, 28 January. He chose the art school  No 1 in the city center as the venue. 

Bulauka submitted an application for the meeting to Orsha District Election Commission on January 26. The secretary filed the application and said that nothing else was required for the meeting to take place, he noted.

The candidate published information about the scheduled meeting on the next day. The rally was to be combined with the presentation of the books authored by Belarusian scholars because it had been impossible to get permission to organize such events in Osrha for a long time. When members of the public started gathering near the school building on January 28, the headmaster suddenly went out and told them that the school was closed and that it was a day off. It is not clear why the headmaster happened to be at work on Sunday.

Bulauka received a reply to his application on Tuesday, January 30.  It said that the school did not work on Sundays and he was asked to choose another day for the meeting. The commission's reply was dated 26 January. The letter was posted on January 27. The delivery date on the envelope was marked as 30 January or two days later the scheduled event.