MINISTRY OF JUSTICE RECOGNIZED AS ILLEGITIMATE NOMINATION OF SIARHEI ANTUSIEVICH AS BPF PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PARLIAMENT
According to the information provided by the BPF Party. On 17 March the BPF Party received a letter from the Ministry of Justice of Belarus saying that the BPF Party congress that nominated Siarhei Antusievich as a candidate for Parliament in the 52nd Haradnia-Central electoral district was illegitimate. The letter was signed by the head of the public associations department Mr. Slizheuski. We'd like to remind you that the ninth extraordinary party congress took place on 15 January.
The letter says that after examining the congress-related documents the Ministry of Justice spotted several violations. First, the Justice Ministry officials believe that "the Soym of the BPF Party has attempted to conceal from the registration agency the following fact – most of the minutes of the meetings of the party branches or excerpts from the corresponding minutes were faxed to the Party Governing Board". Second, most of the minutes of the party branches "have no information regarding the names of those who attended the corresponding forums". Also, "a comparison of the signatures made in the registration lists on behalf of several individuals reveals they do not correspond to the signatures in the minutes".
"We view this as political pressure, an attempt to stop Mr. Antusievich's rather powerful campaign. Also, polls reveal he leads in this electoral district. Naturally, all of this has been prearranged for political reasons". This is how Uladzimier Labkovich, chair of the organization and legal commission of the BPF Party, commented on the letter. "The Ministry of Justice, as usual, fulfils political functions and sees its mission as eliminating any kind of activity, any activity on the part of the political structures rather than ensuring normal cooperation with the political parties", says Mr. Labkovich. He also said that after Mr. Antusievich filed documents with the electoral district commission for registration as a party-nominated candidate, great pressure started to be applied on him and on the party on account of this congress. The Ministry of Justice of Belarus sent in five inquiries, each of which got a prompt response. Most of the above measures were authored by the senior specialist of the public associations department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus Mr. Kharyton, widely known as the major "eliminator" of the public associations in 2003-2004.