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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 2

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2006 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction

Theme of the month:
Beginning of Election Campaign: What Effect Messages of Candidates Make?

Person and organization of the month:
Head of Central Election Commission L. Ermoshina: Political Puppet or Independent Figure

Document of the month:
Political Amendments into Criminal Code: Norm for Particular Case or Fear-Rising Scheme?

From IISEPS Desktop:
For Whom to Vote at the Presidential Election?
Will Belarusians Stand Up Their Choice?

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

We offer to your attention the next issue of our informational bulletin Infofocus. It was prepared under increasing political struggle: presidential candidates have been registered, a great distance of the presidential campaign is over and voters have mostly made up their minds in favor of a candidate. The current president admitted at the National Assembly: “This election company cost me, Foreign Minister S. Martynov and many of our deputies very dear as regards our nerves and health. The same is true for our Army and security services… The strain is so great that you cannot even imagine.” This strain mentioned by A. Lukashenko has been given more attention in the columns of the current issue.
The next stage of the election campaign which we called “beginning of election campaign” has become the “Topic of Month.” It started from registration of candidates. How predictable it was to say that all four candidates – A. Lukashenko, A. Milinkevich, A. Kozulin and S. Gaidukevich – would be registered? What are the messages which presidential candidates tried to convey? What is the key public targeted by these messages? How did the candidates position themselves as against one other and the president in the office? What effect did they achieve with their messages? On our request, Associate Prof. S. Naumova, PhD in Philosophy, Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Studies at EHU-International, and P. Akulov, Head of Analytical Department at the National Press Service, share their viewpoints.
At the presentation of a presidential candidate card, A. Lukashenko stated that the Central Election Commission and it head L. Ermoshina would be key figures at the Belarusian political arena for the period of presidential campaign. We’ve taken this estimate as a working hypothesis and therefore L. Ermoshina became our “Person of Month” and the Central Election Commission – our “Organization of Month”. Is this a correct interpretation of the role of Commission and its head? Is L. Ermoshina an independent figure? What is the role of the Central Election Commission in the period of signature verification and in the beginning of the election campaign? Did the Commission take politically reasoned decisions or it was really unbiased and followed the letter of the law? We offer you the opinions of our experts – S. Alfer, PhD in Law, Editor of the collected articles Election:True, Free and Fair, and Associate Prof. V. Suryaev, PhD in History, Head of Analytical Department at the Presidential Academy of Management.
This time our “Document of Month” column is given to political amendments into the Criminal Code adopted in 2005 at the presidential initiative and acting from February 21, 2006. In particular, they established criminal responsibility along with administrative which existed previously for activity on behalf of non-registered organizations. Thus, activists of non-registered initiative Partnership were detained at 10 a.m. on February 21. Are there any grounds to say that the law was drafted specially to stop activity of that organization? Does the accusation against Partnership – the organization which took up coordination of independent home observers at the presidential election – of falsifying the results of exit-polls which they conducted on behalf of The Gallup Organization/Baltic Surveys and even of provocations and bomb explosion looks convincing to the Belarusian public? Will the amendment establishing responsibility for discrediting of Belarus be ever implemented? We asked these questions to G. Pogonyalo, Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, and O. Abramova, Deputy of the House of Representatives.
Our column “IISEPS Desktop” offers to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the nation opinion poll conducted by independent sociologists at the assistance of Prof. Manaev’s group in February of 2006.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. We look forward to your feedback!

IISEPS executive board

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