You are here
Voting protocol rewritten in Baranavichy. Scandal ensues
Chairman of the territorial commission Tamara Shukala argues that it was done to fix a mistake.
Information about the scandal over the rewritten protocol was posted on Facebook by the Baranavichy reporter Makar Malinouski. On the evening of the vote, he was with the observers monitoring the vote count at the polling station No36. He took a picture of the protocol, signed by the members of the commission. A few days later he came to the territorial commission.
"I went there because I needed to check some numbers. So I went and also asked for the minutes. After all, I was present at the vote count on one of the sites and there Karatkevich officially received about 17%," said Makar.
He just wanted to see how much Tatsiana Karatkevich gained at other polling stations. The official voting results were very different from the 17% that the opposition candidate had oppositionist in his area.
Chairwoman of the territorial commission Tamara Shukala showed the protocols to the journalist. He could not believe his eyes -- the figures in the document from the 36th site were totally different from the ones seen on the evening of 11 October. Karatkevich had 130 fewer votes, in total there were 118 more voters, Lukashenka received an increase in votes from 1,014 to 1,283 votes. Makar Malinouski is even more surprised, because he does not very much believe the results of the first protocol:
"I could not see the true result. We were not allowed to the site where it is believed the voice. It is possible that even this result was invalid. But still Karatkevich had 17%. This result is higher than the one announced later at the Central Election Commission."
In a comment to tut.by, Tamara Shukala called the situation "a mistake." Allegedly, the members of the Commission of the 36th site simply "had different figures." Therefore it was decided to recount all the bulletins and update the protocol. We couldn't get a more detailed commentary from Ms Shukala (who is a member of the Council of Republic) -- the territorial Commission has already stopped working. She also could not be found at the ideology department of the Baranavichy Executive Committee -- "she would not answer her phone" and "she could not be found in the three offices." Same story happened with other members of the commission.
"It is quite clear how this could happen. There are times when the Commissions sign clean protocols. They are told: you'll sign an empty protocol in case there are mistakes. And in order not to change it, you sign it up, and we will correct it ourselves. Chairman says so usually. And the people, the members of commissions, do sign," says lawyer Siarhei Alfer.
His advice is to collect all the photos of protocols (both the first and second copies of it) with the signatures of the commission members, and then take it to the local prosecutor's office together with a request to investigate the complaint. After all, it is a criminal offense (with punishment of up to 5 years in prison). However, he adds that in all the years of Belarus independence, no case like that has been opened.