Brest Authorities Refuse to Register Local Branches of Political Parties
Opposition parties face the threat of not being able to nominate their candidates at the fall parliamentary election.
The news that local branches of political parties and non-governmental organizations have registration problems with the local authorities is coming from different districts of Homel region, reports RFE/RL.
Head of Brest region organization of Belarusian Social Democratic Party Narodnaya Hramada Anatol Lawkovich says: “The regime, or, as I call it, the “corporation” of the power vertical is getting prepared for the election not in compliance with the Election Code, but according to their own plan. They do everything in order to prevent the representatives of pro-democratic parties from running at the election. For instance, in Zhabinka, Ivatsevichy, and other districts where our candidates plan to run our branches are denied registration. According to the Election Code, if a party has no registered bodies in a district, it does not have the right to nominate a candidate there. One of the reasons why they deny registration is the lack of the legal address. Earlier we could register a branch in a private apartment, it is absolutely impossible now”.
The new requirements permit to register a branch only if the building has only one private apartment. However, even in this case the applicants are to receive a special permission of the local administration.
Head of Justice department of Brest region executive Committee Siarhei Kulak states, the registration procedure of political party branches has been adopted in 2000 and has not been amended since. Kulak sees no link between the forthcoming parliamentary elections and registration problems of party branches. He claims the regional Justice department has no conflicts with representatives of political parties.
Meanwhile, growing hindrances to registration are reported not only by Brest social democrats, but also representatives of BPF party and a number of non-governmental organizations.