Belarusian human rights activists said that the conditions for the presidential election campaign in the country were unequal, with the authorities often hampering events held by the incumbent president’s top rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a report posted on the website of the Viasna human rights center (not registered by the Belarusian Ministry of Justice) said.
"Events held by the top rival of the incumbent president, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, are held under law enforcement agencies’ scrutiny, while in the regions they are hampered by government bodies," the report stated. In particular, on July 30, a spokesperson for Tikhanovskaya’s headquarters said that the administration of Pinsk, a city in the Brest Region, refused to authorize a rally with the candidate’s participation, while some state enterprises and private outdoor advertising companies refused to install campaign billboards, TASS reports.
On the other hand, the administrative and propaganda leverage is used in support of candidate Alexander Lukashenko, the report emphasized.
Human rights activists also pointed out that the Belarusian Central Election Commission had restricted the monitoring process at polling stations, "thereby creating conditions for manipulation and making the electoral process even more closed to the public."
The Belarusian presidential election will be held on August 9. The Central Election Commission registered five presidential candidates. They are Andrey Dmitriev, Anna Kanopatskaya, Alexander Lukashenko, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Sergei Cherechen. Two contenders who were considered to be the incumbent president’s main competitors, Viktor Babariko and Valery Tsepkalo, were denied registration.