Authorities Adopt Legal Basis for Smothering Political Parties
According to RFE/RL
The Chamber of Representatives adopted in the second reading the laws on political parties and public associations. They include some new provisions, such as suspension of the activity of political parties and public associations on court decision. Activists of political campaigns criticize these laws saying they give to authorities the possibility to completely control public structures during important political campaigns.
Volha Abramava, chair of Belarusian Yabloko block said she was the only deputy of the Chamber of Representatives who voted nay. She stated that the laws, adopted by her colleagues, considerably deteriorate the conditions for the activity of parties and other political associations:
-- It shows the generally suspicion of the state to everything non-state. This feeling is deep and mutual, because NGOs also treat all initiatives of the state with a great suspicion which is most often reasonable. It is quite a sharp confrontation which has a long history. The mistrust is connected with the opinion of the state that every kind of public activity is anti-state in its essence.
At his press-conference Iury Kulakouski, the chair of the deputy commission on human right, international relations and mass media, said “the state takes more care of the fate of parties, increase of their role in the society, than the parties do themselves”. How do parties treat such “care”? The lawyer Mikhail Pliska, activist of United Civil Party states the authorities had no reasons to adopt such amendments so quickly and says the authorities can have the following motivation:
-- The suspension term for activity of a party is six months, whereas the electoral process lasts for about 4-5 months. In the case a party is suspended on the even of the election, the party won’t be able to take part in the election. Besides, now there are more reasons for issue of warnings to parties and their liquidation.
Uladzimir Labkovich, chair of organizational and legal commission of Belarusian People’s Front, says the final stage of liquidation of parties has already begun:
-- According to our information, in autumn mass liquidation of political parties will start and this is the legal basis for it.