Inese Lībiņa-Egnere atklās Eiropas Starptautisko tiesību asociācijas 12.konferenci

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Latvia in Latvian – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Inese Lībiņa-Egnere atklās Eiropas Starptautisko tiesību asociācijas 12.konferenci


Saeimas priekšsēdētājas biedre Inese Lībiņa-Egnere ceturtdien, 8.septembrī, piedalīsies Rīgā notiekošajā Eiropas Starptautisko tiesību biedrības asociācijas (European Society of International Law) 12.konferencē, kurā teiks atklāšanas uzrunu. 
Par starptautiskā juristu foruma galveno tēmu šogad izvēlēta starptautisko tiesību funkcionēšana krīzes apstākļos – tā dalībnieki spriedīs, vai starptautiskās tiesības mūsdienās spēj risināt krīzes un vai starptautiskās tiesības pašas nav nonākušas krīzē.
Konferencē plānojuši ierasties vairāk nekā 400 dalībnieku no 43 pasaules valstīm, tostarp daudzi augsta līmeņa starptautisko tiesību lietpratēji. Šo juristu forumu Eiropas Starptautisko tiesību asociācija Latvijā rīko sadarbībā ar Rīgas Juridisko augstskolu un Satversmes tiesu.
Pasākuma atklāšanas ceremonija norisināsies ceturtdien, 8.septembrī, plkst. 9.00 Latvijas Nacionālās bibliotēkas Ziedoņa zālē, Mūkusalas ielā 3.

Saeimas Preses dienests

Reliability and control: ‘Labor collectives’ as election trend

MIL OSI – Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Reliability and control: ‘Labor collectives’ as election trend

Year after year, state-owned enterprises and institutions have helped provided human resources to form the election commissions, ‘cooperative’ observers and loyal candidates. The tradition rests upon the country’s legislation, which defines a company’s staff (‘labor collective’) as a key actor of the electoral process, a fact opposed by many independent experts as an anachronism of the Soviet past.

The labor collective’s role in the administration of elections is enshrined both in the Belarusian Constitution and in the Electoral Code. According to the legislation, labor groups can nominate representatives to election commissions of different levels; they can also send their observers and put forward candidates. Thus, the ‘corporate principle’, according to independent observers, has become pervasive and is used to ensure the reliability and control of the key moments of the campaign.

Same people in election commissions — same election results

Election observers have repeatedly said that the formation of precinct election commissions, electoral bodies in charge of the vote count, is based on the ‘corporate principle’. As evidenced by the comparative analysis of the composition of the PECs during the elections of different levels, they are usually formed according to the following pattern: the commission is composed of the employees of the same company, while the chairperson is their boss. All this is carefully concealed. Firstly, employees of one enterprise are nominated in different ways — from the labor collective, from political parties and other public associations, as well as by submitting citizens’ petitions. Secondly, local authorities, which form the election commissions, tend to publish incomplete lists — without specifying the place of work and positions of their members. As a result, media announcements, which contain the names and the type of nomination of PEC members, suggest that the commissions are composed of people representing many different organizations. However, observers know that this is just a hoax, criticizing the approach through independent media, while the Central Election Commission keeps receiving hundreds of complaints, which are often totally ignored.

A striking example is the work of Siarhei Housha, an observer of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” in Baranavičy. He analyzed the composition of six precinct commissions and found that over the past three election campaigns — presidential elections of 2010 and 2015, as well as this year’s parliamentary elections — they consist of representatives of the same organizations. Precinct election commission No. 19 (electoral district No. 5) employed representatives of local school No. 16 headed by schoolmaster Viachaslau Dziauho (in 2010, the commission was chaired by the then schoolmaster of the school). Commission No. 6 brings together employees of Lyceum No. 1 headed by its schoolmaster Aliaksei Bychkouski. Commission No. 20 is composed of the staff of a local auto aggregate plant headed by the director Vital Yurkevich. Teachers of school No. 20 team headed by the schoolmaster Mikhail Mishyn formed precinct commission No. 14 (electoral district No. 6), representatives of the zonal center for hygiene and epidemiology, headed by director Siarhei Pleskatsevich, are members of commission No. 28, and  employees of school No. 17 team headed by the schoolmistress Aliona Marozava are on commission No. 12.

The observer notes that during the current elections at least 80% of the PECs’ members are the persons who worked as electoral officials in earlier campaigns. Those who retired have been replaced by new members, who, however, work in the same institutions and enterprises.

“In these polling stations (just like in the others), the chairmen of precinct election commissions are the head teachers of schools, top managers of enterprises and institutions, while ordinary members of the commission are their subordinates. Of course, a complete contract dependence on the boss (who is also chairman of the commission) will not allow commissioners to oppose the figures in the final protocol after the counting of votes. This is what happens in the elections at all levels in the last fifteen years. That is why the election commissions very seldom include outsiders, members of democratic parties and non-governmental public organizations,” says Siarhei Housha in his complaint to the CEC, asking to publish lists with full information on the members of election commissions.

“Analyzing all this helps you realize that election commissions were formed long before the elections were called. They are comprised of people approved by the power vertical, and the meetings that formed these commissions were purely technical, they were used a safeguard against unwanted persons getting on the commissions,” says the human rights defender. “The same people on the district and precinct election commissions secure the same voting results. Can we then call these elections fair?”

It’s no secret that the “esprit de corps” of election commissions is strengthened by using loyal observers, who are registered with the same commissions and are often nominated by the same labor collectives. Earlier election campaigns were marked by many adverse approaches of local authorities, including labelling the observers as ‘cooperative’ and ‘opposition’ ones, instructions for pro-government observers and so on.

Corporate principle as administrative resource in nominating candidates

Article 69 of the Constitution gives the labor collectives of Belarus the right to nominate candidates. The right is also enshrined in Article 63 of the Electoral Code. However, the laws do not defined whether the candidates should be employees of these companies.

“I’ve consulted the Electoral Code, and it does not say anything on this issue, only describing the nomination procedure and so on. Then I looked through the CEC’s Guidelines for the district election commissions, which says that the nominee is not obliged to be an employee of the enterprise that has put him forward,” says Valiantsin Stefanovich of “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections”.

This fact, according to him, cannot but cause surprise.

“Of course, on the one hand, if the Electoral Code does not prohibit something, it can be used freely. But, if we are guided by the logic, according to which political parties nominate their members, then labor groups should also nominate their employees. And what we can see now is that they nominate totally strange people.”

“This is not to mention the fact that in itself the labor collective as the electoral actor now looks a complete Soviet anachronism. Probably, when the Constitution was developed, they did not yet depart from the Soviet ideas, and now we have it in the electoral legislation,” adds Stefanovich.

But it is unlikely that the provision is a mere mistake. This is a very convenient pattern of using administrative resources during the nomination of candidates, the expert believes.

“I’m sure that no opposition candidate can come to a labor collective completely out nowhere and say: “Could you please nominate me as your candidate?” “It is clear that the decision is aimed at nominating the candidate that the authorities want to see in the parliament,” he says.

Another curious thing, according to Valiantsin Stefanovich, is an interesting logic of the Central Election Commission in similar situations.

“If the Electoral Code does not provide for a ban on nominating people who are not employed at the enterprise, then it is possible. And the CEC allows it. And if, for example, it comes to Article 13 of the Electoral Code regarding the rights of an observer, why isn’t the CEC no longer guided by the principle “everything which is not forbidden is allowed.” For example, the CEC said that the observer cannot take photos or shoot video during his work, because it is not provided by the said Article. But this is not specified among prohibitions — that it is not prohibited by the Electoral Code and, accordingly, may be permitted.”

This selective approach is unlikely to contribute to ensuring the principle of openness and transparency, the principle of equality during this year’s parliamentary elections.

«Газпром» получил первые разрешения на «Турецкий поток»

MIL OSI – Source: Gazprom in Russian – Press Release/Statement

Headline: «Газпром» получил первые разрешения на «Турецкий поток»

РЕЛИЗ «Газпром» получил первые разрешения на «Турецкий поток»7 сентября 2016, 15:40Турецкий поток «Газпром» получил по дипломатическим каналам первые разрешения органов власти Турецкой Республики на реализацию «Турецкого потока» после решения о возобновлении проекта в этом году.
По итогам состоявшихся на прошлой неделе переговоров Председателя Правления ПАО «Газпром» Алексея Миллера и Министра энергетики и природных ресурсов Турецкой Республики Берата Албайрака была достигнута договоренность о скорейшем завершении всех необходимых подготовительных процедур для начала реализации проекта.
«Начало выдачи разрешений является позитивной новостью для „Газпрома“. Данный шаг турецкой стороны отражает заинтересованность турецкого правительства в проекте „Турецкий поток“ и свидетельствует о переходе к его практической реализации», — сказал Алексей Миллер.

1 декабря 2014 года ПАО «Газпром» и турецкая компания Botas подписали Меморандум о взаимопонимании по строительству газопровода «Турецкий поток». Газопровод пройдет 660 км в старом коридоре «Южного потока» и 250 км в новом коридоре в направлении европейской части Турции. Предполагается, что поставки газа по первой нитке газопровода будут целиком предназначены для турецкого рынка.

Другие новости по теме

Der Präsident und der Stifter

MIL OSI – Source: Koerber Stiftung – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Der Präsident und der Stifter

Meldung vom Mittwoch, 7. September 2016

Ob sich der ehemalige Bundespräsident Walter Scheel über das Porträt gefreut hat, das Kurt Körber vom ihm einst malte, ist nicht überliefert. Aber Kurt Körber hatte einen gewissen Ehrgeiz darin entwickelt, Bundespräsidenten auf die Leinwand zu bannen. Das geschah auch mit Walter Scheel, im feinen Seidenschal.
Begonnen hatte diese Maltradition Ende der Sechziger, als Körber mehrmals in das Haus des Bundespräsidenten Gustav Heineman kam, um ihn zu porträtieren. Dabei unterhielten sie sich über Heinemanns Wunsch, die freiheitlich-demokratischen Traditionen Deutschlands stärker ins öffentliche Bewusstsein zu bringen. Die Idee für den Geschichtswettbewerb des Bundespräsidenten war geboren.
Als Nachfolger Heinemanns rief auch Walter Scheel während seiner Amtszeit die Schuljugend regelmäßig zu diesem Wettbewerb auf. Die Themen der Jahre 1977 bis 79 drehten sich um die Sozialgeschichte des Alltags. Die Schwerpunkte waren Arbeit, Wohnen und Freizeit. »Erforschen Sie zunächst die historischen Fakten«, schrieb Scheel damals. »Wie man diese Fakten bewertet, hängt hauptsächlich von dem Wertesystem ab, das für den einzelnen verbindlich ist. Ich rate Ihnen deshalb, die Fakten von den Bewertungen zu trennen. Und ich rate Ihnen, auch wenn sie andere Grundüberzeugungen haben, die Bewertung anderer Denkrichtungen ernst zu nehmen. Man lernt am besten von denen, die anderer Auffassung sind als man selbst.« Und, so Scheel weiter: »Sie lernen aus der Geschichte, wie die gar nicht so einfache Aufgabe zu lösen ist, ein Demokrat zu sein.«

Scheininnovationen unterbinden, Forschung am gesellschaftlichen Bedarf ausrichten

MIL OSI – Source: Die Linke – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Scheininnovationen unterbinden, Forschung am gesellschaftlichen Bedarf ausrichten

„Eine Arzneimittelreform jagt die nächste, und trotzdem hören wir seit vielen Jahren das Gleiche: Scheininnovationen dominieren bei den neuen Arzneimitteln, Mondpreise belasten die Krankenkassen, immer weniger Menschen profitieren von wirklich neuen Präparaten. Die Regelungen für gute und bezahlbare Arzneimittel reichen hinten und vorne nicht aus. Doch statt hier mutige Schritte zu gehen, ist die Bundesregierung dabei, neue Geschenke an die Industrie zu verteilen“, erklärt Kathrin Vogler mit Blick auf den aktuellen Innovationsreport der Techniker Krankenkasse. Die gesundheitspolitische Sprecherin der Fraktion DIE LINKE weiter:

„Es ist höchste Zeit, neue Wege bei der Entwicklung von Medikamenten zu gehen und das öffentliche Interesse in den Mittelpunkt zu stellen. Der erste Schritt muss eine Kosten-Nutzen-Bewertung sein, um die Entwicklung von Scheininnovationen unattraktiver zu machen. Aber letztlich heißt die Frage, warum die Allgemeinheit so wenig Einfluss darauf hat, welche neuen Arzneimittel auf den Markt kommen und welche Preise letztlich aufgerufen werden. Schließlich sind es die Steuer- und Beitragszahler, die die Forschung letztlich bezahlen. Wir brauchen wirksame, sichere und bezahlbare Medikamente.“

Les services du FMI concluent une mission de revue en Guinée

MIL OSI – Source: IMF – News in French – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Les services du FMI concluent une mission de revue en Guinée

le 7 septembre 2016

Les communiqués de presse publiés en fin de mission par les services du FMI incluent des déclarations qui expriment leurs observations préliminaires au terme d’une mission dans un pays. Les opinions exprimées dans ces conclusions sont celles des services du FMI et ne sont pas nécessairement celles du Conseil d’administration. Sur la base des observations préliminaires de cette mission, les services du FMI établiront un rapport qui, sous réserve de l’approbation de la direction, sera soumis à l’examen et à la décision du Conseil d’administration du FMI.

Une mission du FMI dirigée par Abdoul Aziz Wane a séjourné à Conakry du 24 Août au 7 Septembre, 2016 pour mener les discussions sur la huitième et dernière
revue du programme des autorités soutenue par un accord au titre de la facilité élargie de crédit (FEC)
. À la fin de la mission, M. Wane a fait la déclaration suivante :

« Les autorités guinéennes et les services du FMI sont parvenus à un accord de principe sur un ensemble de politiques qui, sous réserve de l’approbation
par la Direction Générale du FMI et du Conseil d’Administration, pourraient être soutenues par le huitième et dernier décaissement au titre de l’accord
FEC. Sous réserve des mesures à adopter dans les prochaines semaines, la réunion du Conseil d’Administration pourrait se tenir vers la fin du mois
d’Octobre 2016.

« Les données disponibles montrent que l’activité économique connaît une reprise, mais à un rythme inégal. La reprise est tirée par des chocs positifs de
l’offre dans les secteurs minier, agricole et de l’énergie, qui ont été moins touchés par l’épidémie d’Ebola. L’activité dans le secteur manufacturier et
celui des services, qui sont en général sources des emplois les plus rémunérateurs, reprend à un rythme beaucoup plus lent. Dans ce contexte, les
prévisions de croissance de 2016 ont été revues à la hausse à 5,2%, au lieu de 3,8% précédemment. L’inflation a augmenté à 8,4% à fin Juillet 2016, du fait
de la hausse des prix des biens importés.

« La performance dans la mise en œuvre du programme FEC s’est améliorée de manière significative. Tous les critères de performance à fin juin 2016 ont été
observés, ainsi que tous les objectifs indicatifs à fin mars et fin juin, sauf un seul portant sur les dépenses prioritaires. Un élément-clé de cette
performance a été l’exécution prudente du budget. Les autorités ont réalisé un excédent sur le solde budgétaire de base de 0,7% du PIB contre un objectif
de déficit de 1,2% du PIB. Les autorités ont atteint le repère structurel sur l’adoption du plan de réforme de la fonction publique et ont modifié les
statuts de la banque centrale (BCRG) pour interdire les garanties de la BCRG. Les travaux sont également en cours sur les autres réformes structurelles du
programme FEC.

« Les politiques macroéconomiques pour 2017 resteront axées sur l’amélioration des conditions de vie des populations, tout en maintenant la stabilité
économique. La politique monétaire continuera d’être guidée par les objectifs principaux visant à réduire l’inflation à 8 pourcent et à reconstituer les
réserves internationales de la BCRG pour renforcer la confiance vis-à-vis du franc guinéen. La mission se félicite de l’intention des autorités d’aligner
le budget de 2017 aux financements disponibles. L’espace fiscal pour les secteurs prioritaires devrait être créé par la mise en œuvre des mesures de
recettes résolues et durables, y compris des mesures visant à élargir l’assiette fiscale, et surtout, par l’amélioration de la qualité des dépenses.

« La mission encourage les autorités à renforcer les efforts pour finaliser les réformes structurelles du programme FEC, en particulier dans le secteur de
l’électricité, et de faire respecter strictement le code des marchés publics. La mission a pris note des conclusions du rapport d’audit sur les marchés
publics signés en 2014-15 et a encouragé les autorités à publier le rapport, conformément à leur politique de transparence.

« L’équipe du FMI remercie les autorités pour leur hospitalité et pour les discussions constructives ».

La mission a été reçue par Son Excellence Alpha Condé, Président de la République. La mission a rencontré le Président de l’Assemblée Nationale, Honorable
Claude Kory Kondiano et les Commissions Économique et Financière de l’Assemblée Nationale. La mission a également rencontré le Ministre de l’Economie et
des Finances, Malado Kaba, le Gouverneur de la banque centrale, Lounceny Nabé, le Ministre du Plan et de la Coopération Internationale, Kanny Diallo, le
Ministre du Budget Mohamed Doumbouya, et d’autres hauts fonctionnaires du gouvernement, l’association professionnelle des banques, les partenaires
internationaux, ainsi que les organisations du secteur privé et de la société civile.


La FEC est le principal outil du FMI pour l’appui financier à moyen terme aux pays à faible revenu. Le financement dans le cadre de la FEC est à un
taux d’intérêt de zéro pour cent, avec une période de grâce de 5,5 années, et une maturité de 10 ans.

Département de la communication du FMI
ATTACHÉ DE PRESSE: Lucie Mboto Fouda
TÉLÉPHONE:+1 202 623-7100COURRIEL:

Prime Ministers of Ukraine and Hungary to raise the level of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation

MIL OSI – Source: Government of Ukraine – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Prime Ministers of Ukraine and Hungary to raise the level of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation

Prime Minister of
Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman held a meeting with Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor
Orbán in Krynica Zdrój on September 7th. The counterparts focused on
the lines of further cooperation between the countries, in particular in the
framework of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation
and a number of infrastructure projects.

Prime Ministers of
Ukraine and Hungary stressed the need to raise the level of collaboration
between the two states.

The parties agreed to
improve work of Ukrainian-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic
cooperation. In particular, the Ukrainian part will be headed by Vice Prime
Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Ivanna
Klympush-Tsintsadze. A responsible person from the
Hungarian side will be determined in the coming days.

Volodymyr Groysman aired an
initiative to elaborate a mid-term action plan for cooperation between Ukraine
and Hungary within the frames of the Commission, notably in infrastructure,
energy and agriculture sectors.

The prospects of implementation of a number of infrastructure projects,
in particular the development of border checkpoints and border infrastructure.

The Head of Ukraines Government asserted that it was necessary to
exchange data on the movement of goods via the Ukrainian-Hungarian frontier. Joining
efforts in this direction will contribute to the fight against smuggling and
“gray imports” at the customs, he urged.

Volodymyr Groysman
noted that Ukraine is interested in intensifying cooperation with Hungary in transport
domain, in particular regarding combined conveyance. The Prime Minister noted
the need to increase permits for Ukrainian carriers.

The heads of
government agreed to unite efforts in environmental activities on the Tysa River.

The Prime Minister of
Ukraine welcomed an initiative of Hungary to hold a business forum in Kharkiv,
and proposed as a next step to conduct a similar forum in Hungary, which could
be opened by heads of government of the two countries and become an element of
the joint meeting of the Governments of Ukraine and Hungary.

Moreover, the interlocutors discussed countering Russian aggression by
Ukraine, as well as the consolidation of the EU’s efforts in this direction.

The Coverage of the 2016 Parliamentary Election in the Belarusian Media. Report 3 (15 August – 6 September 2016)

MIL OSI – Source: Belarusian Association of Journalists – in English – Press Release/Statement

Headline: The Coverage of the 2016 Parliamentary Election in the Belarusian Media. Report 3 (15 August – 6 September 2016)

1. IntroductionThis report gives an overview of the third stage of the monitoring, which lasted from 15 August until 6 September, 2016. It was the time span when parliamentary candidates were running their campaigns.
2. Summary
The monitored stage was not marked by any essential changes in the traditional election coverage model practiced by the state-owned media. Here are its key characteristics:
It was the CEC and other election commissions that remained the dominant figures of the election field as presented in the state-owned media. Their representatives (most commonly their chairpersons) had the highest share of airtime among all the personified monitored actors. At the same time the state-run media presented the election commissions as the most competent source of information about the upcoming election.
Although the candidates were able to address the electorate on TV and on the radio, the state-owned printed and electronic media practically did not advertise their media appearances. TV guides presented them under the heading Election’2016 or Speeches of candidates standing for the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus of the sixth convocation. No names or exact time of each candidate’s TV and radio appearances were given.
The major state-run media’s websites did not offer any precise information on the date and time of the candidates’ broadcasts.
Just like at the previous stages, the news programmes kept to their predominantly depersonalised coverage of the candidates. However, once in a while the state-owned media offered a group portrait of the candidates, dividing them into different categories.
The state-run media still did not turn the spotlight on the political parties standing for parliament.
Voters were not given any voice. They were typically presented in a depersonalised manner.
At this stage, the state-owned media focussed much more on both OSCE/ODIHR and CIS observers.
At the same time, technicalities and organisational details of the election process dominated the monitored media.
When the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were over, it entailed neither a fall in the airtime given to sports nor an upsurge in election-related issues.
At this stage, the independent media offered a different picture of the campaign, focussing much more on the candidates and political parties than their state-run counterparts did.
3. Key Findings
State-owned Media
In terms of the share of airtime and space, the CEC remained in the lead alongside the regional election commissions. It received 16% of airtime given to all the monitored election actors in Panarama on Belarus 1 and 18% in Nashi Novosti on ONT. It is the regional election commissions that featured most prominently in the regional TV programmes, such as Naviny. Homiel of the Homiel Regional TV and Radio Company, and Naviny-rehijon of the Mahiloŭ Regional TV and Radio Company, which gave them respectively 31% and 25% of the total airtime allotted to all the election actors. As for the presidential paper Belarus Segodnya, it allocated just a slightly higher proportion of its space to the ‘depersonalised candidate’ than to the CEC, regional commissions and polling station boards, namely 29.4% and 29.2%, respectively.
Just like at the previous stages, the election commissions were often assessed in a positive key. For example, ‘We would like to point out,’ said the spokesman of the CIS Observer Mission Tashibaev during the second monitored time span (25 July – 14 August, 2016), ‘how well-trained the heads of the constituency commissions are and what high professional standards the heads of the polling station boards ensure.’ (Radyjofakt, 02/08/16.) A few weeks later, a reporter of the same programme claimed that the CIS observer Yury Andreev had ‘given credit to the election commissions for their high professional skills’. (Radyjofakt, 24/08/16.)
The CEC Chairperson Jarmošyna said, ‘I think we are moving towards more and more perfection in holding elections, and they are becoming more and more civilised.’ (Panarama, Belarus 1, 23/08/16.) Meanwhile, Mr Darhiel, Chairperson of polling station board no. 2 in Barysaŭ spoke highly of the festive atmosphere permeating the campaign, ‘The election is being held wonderfully, so it is a real joy.’ (Radyjofakt, 01/09/16.)
The candidates were able to appear in the electronic state-run media, such as Belarus 3 and CTV TV stations and the local radio as well as had their programmes printed free of charge in the state-owned papers appointed by the CEC. The candidates’ appearances were being televised from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and broadcast on the radio from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays.
They were presented in the TV guide for Belarus 3 as Election’2016. It deserves mentioning that not only the candidates’ speeches but also debates were televised under this general heading. The TV guide did not give any information about what was to be expected on air or who the guests were.
Admittedly, the TV guide for CTV did highlight the candidates’ appearances on air – Speeches of candidates standing for the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus of the sixth convocation. However, it did not give the candidates’ names or the exact time of their addresses. The TV guide also had a heading Election’2016 with inconspicuous ‘Debates’. Neither this specific type of infographics nor the heading itself, which encompassed the candidates’ appearances on Belarus 3, facilitated perception of the information by voters.
While the TV guides were not precise enough about the candidates and debates, they did not only highlight the titles of feature films and series in bold capitals but also provided their brief strips with the virtual names of the protagonists. For example, this is how the TV guide for Belarus 2 presented DECEIVE ME-2 series: ‘CRIME. ‘Murder Squad of the Municipal Criminal Police. The most high-profile cases are to be looked into… by Captains Filippov, Lerner and Ilyinsky and Senior Lieutenant Strelnikova.’ (Belarus 2, 29/08/16.)
Finally, it should be pointed out that neither the TV stations themselves, nor the information portal Election’2016 (, which had got a lot of hype in the state-run media, nor the BelTA special project called Parliamentary Election’2016 (, nor the official website of the Belarusian Television and Radio Company gave comprehensive information about the candidates’ media appearances or debates, including the date, time and names. Moreover, none of the candidates’ media appearances were uploaded on the website of the Belarusian Television and Radio, which deprived the voters who could not watch or listen to these broadcasts of the opportunity to get an idea of the candidates’ agendas.
To sum it up, the absence of any meaningful informational support of the candidates’ media appearances and debates or comprehensive information about who exactly was going to speak and when fitted perfectly into the general trend towards depersonalised coverage of the key election actors in the state-run media. Furthermore, Belarus 3 also showed Soviet Russian documentaries under the heading Election’2016, for example, a forty-minute-long film featuring the construction of an old Soviet car ZIL on 29 August, 2016. Such a vague heading as Election’2016 is misleading for the electorate, as it hinders the voters from forming an informed opinion of the candidates and their agendas.
At the same time, the monitored state-owned media were abundant in all kinds of expert opinions and covert hints as to the ‘right’ candidates. On 21 August, 2016 the Chairperson of the Belarusian TV and Radio Davydźka divided the candidates in Glavny Efir into three groups after watching their media appearances, ‘The first group are, you know, successful and experienced people, such as school headmasters and CEOs of production companies. They are self-confident. As a rule, they are well prepared to make an address; they know what they are doing and why they are going to parliament. And the camera loves them.
‘The second group are those to whom their party said, “you must do it,” and they answered “yes,” to put it plainly. They may not really believe in their victory, but they are trying to make their brands, their parties and themselves recognisable, well, to the best of their abilities.
‘Finally, the third group is the most interesting sample, in my opinion, of new people that have made their way in our electoral history in general. These are “happy-go-lucky” candidates. They do not rely on any experience, they don’t know why they are standing for parliament, actually, they cannot present themselves and they often talk nonsense.’
Another participant in the discussion, the Editor-in-Chief of the Źviazda state-run paper Karlukievič, offered an addition to this classification, ‘I think there is also a category of very well-known individuals in the information field… Their agendas are shaped by their pre-conceptions that people know that the authors of these agendas are only going to criticise and put forward certain slogans, that these slogans without any grounds are enough.’ 
Mr Jakubovič, the Editor-in-Chief of the Belarus Segonya, aired an opinion that responsible candidates ‘must give up all rhetoric and say things like, “I’ll help the authorities with the parking lots, for example, if I am elected, I’ll help the authorities to put the following things right in the district…”’  It is evident that this proposal limits the prospective parliamentarians’ status as lawmakers; moreover, it undermines the principle of the division of powers in Belarus.
When the candidates began campaigning, it did not result in an increase in the share of airtime allocated to them in the monitored programmes. Moreover, the state-owned media continued to offer general and depersonalised information about the candidates, giving their collective profile, political affiliation, social background and the number of contenders for one seat in parliament. For instance, during this time span allocated to the ‘depersonalised candidate’ 26% of its space given to all the monitored election actors.
The political parties were either presented as the eponymous depersonalised actor, receiving no more than 1% of election-related airtime in Radyjofakt and Nashi Novosti on ONT, or mentioned in passing, getting from 0.01% to 0.06% of space allotted to all the monitored election actors on
Both western observers and their CIS counterparts received quite a lot of media attention, i.e. about 10% or slightly more. They were portrayed in a predominantly neutral or positive light. The national observers also got a certain amount of media coverage, though not as much as the former.
The monitored news programmes continued to feature sporting events prominently. Even though the Olympics were over, the proportion of coverage given to sports and the election did not undergo any sufficient changes. During the previous monitored time span between 25 July and 14 August their respective shares were 35% v 2.2% in Panarama, 16% v 2.5% in Nashi Novosti on ONT, and 10.5% v 3.5% in Radyjofakt. This time, the corresponding figures were as follows: 30% v 2.9% in Panarama, 19% v 1.1% in Nashi Novosti on ONT, and about 13% v 6% in Radyjofakt.
3 Independent Media
We pointed out in our previous report that the independent media were using a different model of election coverage. This was particularly true of and the Narodnaja Vola paper. These media outlets tried to minimise references to generalised notions and depersonalised actors, such as ‘political parties’, a ‘candidate’ or the ‘electorate’. Following the official registration of candidates, began giving a lot of candidates’ names and information about them. The same can be said of the political parties, which were more or less presented under their official names. The portal has a special video programme Госць, which shows interviews of the leaders of the parties participating in the election. Each programme lasts from 35 to 55 minutes, the guests being one to three leaders of both oppositional and pro-governmental parties. The host normally takes a critical stance on the parties’ agendas and candidates.
At this stage, the monitored regional independent press, such as the Intex-press and the Hazieta Słonimskaja, showed much more interest in the parliamentary campaign, featuring individual candidates and adhering to a neutral manner of presentation.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belorussii also wrote about the campaign and some candidates in a neutral light and mentioned some of the political parties standing for parliament.
4. Conclusions
The mode of election coverage practiced by the state-run media leaves no room for any serious engagement of the voters in the campaign. This premise is supported both by the depersonalised coverage given to the candidates and the absence of any sufficient information about their media appearances during the campaign.
When technical and organizational details are accentuated and the key election actors are depersonalised, it results in the voters’ detachment from the election and has a negative impact on their engagement in the campaign.
Another tangible element of a ‘low-key’ election is the marginalisation of the political parties, particularly those opposing the current regime, who have no voice in the mainstream media.
As neither the electorate nor the expert community discuss the political parties’ platforms or the candidates’ agendas, the election is depoliticised and deprived of any meaningful political competition. This is a major hindrance to the development of the Belarusian political system.
By contrast with the state-run media, the independent ones have a more productive strategy of election coverage. However, their influence is not strong enough to have any sufficient impact on the parliamentary campaign and its outcome.

For purposes of comparison: during the 2012 parliamentary election, the candidates’ speeches were televised at the same time, while the radio addresses were broadcast from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A tell-tale fact: when some of the candidates uploaded their media appearances on the Internet, this was how the Belarusian TV and Radio Company reacted, ‘Certain participants in the campaign even went so far as to decide to promote themselves at the expense of our media holding by uploading their TV appearances, professionally recorded by the Belarusian TV employees, on the Internet, without asking permission from the proprietor of the video materials, namely the Belarusian National TV and Radio Company,  and then went on to blame it for blocking the illegally uploaded content.’ (…).

„Startupy w Pałacu”

MIL OSI – Source: President of Poland in Polish – Press Release/Statement

Headline: „Startupy w Pałacu”

13 września 2016 r. (wtorek) o godz. 16.00 w Pałacu Prezydenckim Prezydent Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Andrzej Duda weźmie udział w spotkaniu z przedstawicielami startupów oraz inwestorów.
Kancelaria Prezydenta RP oraz Fundacja Startup Poland są organizatorami spotkania, którego celem jest promowanie innowacyjności polskiej gospodarki. Startup Poland przeprowadziła otwarty nabór przedsiębiorstw, z których wybrana została finałowa dziesiątka. W Pałacu Prezydenckim przedstawiciele 10 młodych, polskich firm zaprezentują swoje osiągnięcia oraz realizowane projekty. W gronie gości będą obecni potencjalni inwestorzy przedstawiciele Polskiego Funduszu Rozwoju, spółek Skarbu Państwa, instytucji grantowych, organizacji typu venture capital, tzw. aniołowie biznesu.

Obsługa medialna wyłącznie dla osób posiadających okresowe akredytacje prasowe oraz dla osób akredytowanych. Akredytacje przyjmowane są do 13 września br. (wtorek) do godz. 12.00 na stronie:

Wejście akredytowanych dziennikarzy przez biuro przepustek Pałacu Prezydenckiego w godz. 15.30-15.45. Instalacja wozów transmisyjnych do godz. 15.00.

Spotkanie będzie transmitowane online na stronie

Szczegółowych informacji udziela Zespół Obsługi Prezydenta w Biurze Szefa Gabinetu Prezydenta, Kinga Buchman, tel.: 721 800 526.

Konferencja prasowa w sprawie inicjatywy ustawodawczej Prezydenta RP

MIL OSI – Source: President of Poland in Polish – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Konferencja prasowa w sprawie inicjatywy ustawodawczej Prezydenta RP

8 września 2016 r. (czwartek) o godz. 12.00 w Belwederze odbędzie się konferencja prasowa pt. „Zaostrzenie odpowiedzialności karnej wobec osób popełniających przestępstwa, których ofiarami są dzieci” z udziałem Sekretarza Stanu w Kancelarii Prezydenta RP Andrzeja Dery. Konferencja poświęcona będzie inicjatywie ustawodawczej Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej Andrzeja Dudy, dotyczącej projektu nowelizacji kodeksu karnego i ustawy o postępowaniu w sprawach nieletnich.
W spotkaniu wezmą udział także Marek Michalak, Rzecznik Praw Dziecka, Tomasz Kulikowski, Dyrektor Biura Interwencyjnej Pomocy Prawnej w Kancelarii Prezydenta RP oraz Agnieszka Rękas, Doradca Rzecznika Praw Dziecka.

Obsługa medialna wyłącznie dla osób posiadających okresowe akredytacje prasowe oraz dla osób akredytowanych. Akredytacje przyjmowane są do 8 września 2016 r. (czwartek) do godz. 10.00 na stronie:
Wejście akredytowanych dziennikarzy od strony pomnika Marszałka J. Piłsudskiego w godz. 11.30-11.45. Instalacja wozów transmisyjnych do godz. 11.00.
Szczegółowych informacji udziela Zespół Obsługi Prezydenta w Biurze Szefa Gabinetu Prezydenta, Kaja Sobieszczańska, tel.: 721-800-501.