Parliamentary Elections Advance Polling into High Gear: Student Forced to Vote
713 persons out of 1,000 registered have already voted at polling station No. 1 in Horki, Belarus, despite the polling day is September 23. Most of them are students.
A student of Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU), Minsk, informed: “The dormitory administrator dropped in at all rooms, told everyone to partake in advance polling.”
The same happens in the university. A supervising professor and a deputy dean “reminded” students that they could vote at advance polling in exchange for days off on Friday and Saturday.
Another Nasha Niva reader says: “In BNTU students forced at polling station. Some are threaten to be driven out of the dormitories, some are promised problems at exams. It is ridiculous, but even Minsk residents are asked to vote despite they are registered at other polling stations.”
However, the BNTU press-service and the administration refutes such information. “We have lab work on Sunday. Who may cancel them?” says a deputy dean of a BNTU faculty.
A student from Baranavichy, Brest region, says they are urged to early voting and threatened to be deprived of scholarships or driven away from their dormitory rooms.
In Horki, Mahiliou region, 883 persons out of 1,600 registered at polling station No. 3 voted on the first day of advance polling.
According to observers' recent reports, 713 people out of 1,000 registered (what makes 71,3 per cent) voted at polling station No. 1 in Horki. Most registered persons are students of Horki Academy. They were given four extra days off. However, the voting was not voluntary: the students were forced to vote by the academy administration.
The national harvest festival Dazhynki is to be held there on September 21–22. Many guests are expected so the students were ordered to vote early and leave their dormitories as visitors will be placed there, independent election observer Halina Bubnaja says.
The early voting gives the authorities unlimited opportunities to falsify the results of the elections.