Will Karatkevich signature verification end in scandal?

On August 26, opposition had an unusual meeting: they decided who and how would check the veracity of the signatures collected in favor of the Tatsiana Karatkevich presidential nomination. ERB understands where there was such an idea, and what all could end.


It was the Movement For Freedom that came up with the idea to check the signatures. Together with its activists Tatsiana Karatkevich spent a few years travelling around Belarus under the program People's Referendum. They had no differences at the time. But before the election the For Freedom movement refused to participate in the campaign. And on August 24, the movement published on its website an appeal to potential candidate requesting to check the collected 100 thousand signatures.

"You yourself well remember how hard it was and how long it took for the four structures to collect more than 100 thousand signatures in support of the People's Referendum. The doubts are reinforced by the fact that the teams of Anatol Lyabedzka and Syarhei Kalyakin openly declared that they were unable to overcome the threshold. In such circumstances, an independent public verification of the collected signatures could become a worthy policy step and the best way to improve the image of the democratic forces," said the statement.

In fact, a lot of people doubt that Karatkevich collected 100 thousand signatures -- there are even hot disputes about it in social networks. Euroradio also had its share of blame -- some activists called the discussions about the attempts to verify the authenticity of Karatkevich and Haidukevich signatures "paid for" and "unprofessional."

The inspection, according to a leader of the For Freedom Yury Hubarevich, can remove all questions: "We will understand what really happened. Do these signatures exist, or don't they. If there are no problems, the commission will say about this absolutely openly and publicly."

How and who will check

The final procedure is not yet clear. But Yuras Hubarevich is convinced - opposition has enough experts who can find fraud.

"There are several tools that allow you to verify the authenticity of signatures. First of all, by visual inspection. You can check the handwriting, find out, if one person signed for several. Eventually, you can ring up people who allegedly put their signatures for Tatsiana Karatkevich's nomination," he said.

The first meeting on the verification of the signatures will be held on August 26. It will define the procedure and personnel. The desire to enter the commission has been already expressed by representatives of the Belarusian Christian Democracy. Co-chairman of the party organizing committee, Vital Rymasheuski, said that the Commission should include competent people.

"We are still discussing who will do it. I think this person is Pavel Sevyarynets and other well-known reputable people, not only from the BCD. In principle, this committee should be open to all. Everyone can come and test results," said Rymasheyski.

Incidentally, there could be a problem with authoritative leaders. Vital Rymasheuski in 2010 stated that the BCD collected the necessary 100,000 signatures for his nomination, but today very few people believe it. Same story with the representatives of the movement For Freedom, who worked in the headquarters of Ales Mikhalevich, as well as many others. Whether the person suspected of falsifying signatures has authority to verify them is a  big question.

What happens in the end?

It is very likely to be a new scandal. The fact is that to check the veracity of the signatures, the movement For Freedom wants to have a copy of all the 100 thousand signatures collected for Karatkevich.

"To have a full inspection, it is necessary to have the entire volume of collected signatures. Staff of the Karatkevich headquarters have repeatedly stated that all copies are available," said Yuras Hubarevich.

Meanwhile, Chief of Karatkevich  staff, Andrey Dzmitryieu told Euroradio on August 26 that he was not sure of the existence of all copies: "I cannot say they are all there. We are now collecting them, phoning activists who have photocopies, who made photos of signature sheets. I do not know if we will be able to collect copies of all the signatures," said Dzmitryieu.

As a result, the opposition commission can get for the inspection only a part of the signature sheets collected by Karatkevich. This is sure to become a topic of speculation.

Did Tatsiana Karatkevich collect 100 thousand signatures?

If you believe her staff - yes. Even a little more - the electoral committees received 107 thousands. What Lidziya Yarmoshyna thinks about it we will learn at the beginning of next week. In 2010, about the same number of signatures were submitted by the BPF with its candidate Ryhor Kastusiou. As a result, Kastusiou nearly missed the target with only 100,870 valid signatures.

If you believe the indirect figures - you start to doubt the whole thing. The head of the Belarusian Popular Front, Alyaksei Yanukevich, has already said that his structure has collected for the nomination of Karatkevich just 10,300 signatures. According to Euroradio, the Social Democrats, who worked for Karatkevich informally, among themselves speak of 20 thousands. As a result, about 80 thousand were to have been collected directly by the activists of Tell the Truth. Quite a big number.

Activists of the movement For Freedom promise not to inform Yarmoshyna about Karatkevich, if they suddenly find fraud. Akkegedly, the CEC has long discredited itself and cooperating with it is senseless. But the press and the public will be told everything. So, you can stock up on popcorn, if you for some reason have not done so.

Photo zapraudu.info