Belarusian authorities pave the way for the next presidential elections: clearing the political space
The Mogilevskiye vedomosti, which was founded by Mahilou Regional Executive Committee, published on 12 July a list of branches of the political parties, public associations deregistered by the Justice Department of Mahilou Regional Executive Committee in the first six months of 2005. The list is made up of 35 (!) names of the branches liquidated for various reasons only in one of the six regions of the Republic of Belarus. You can imagine the number across the country.
The list of the branches deregistered by the Justice Department of the Mahilou Regional Executive Committee in the first half of 2005 includes 5 branches of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Narodnaia hramada, 13 primary units of the United Civil Party, 3 primary units of the Liberal Democratic Party, 1 city branch of the BPF Party, 6 district branches of the Belarusian Party of Communists, 2 primary units of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada, 2 primary units of the Social Sport Party, one primary unit of the Belarusian Party of Women Nadzeia and 2 public associations.
The chair of the Human Rights Center Viasna Alies Bialiatski says: "Liquidation of the structures of the political parties in the regions is unambiguously connected with the presidential elections due in 2006 – this is how the authorities are clearing the political space for their actions, leaving in fact entire regions without any structures of the political parties. The consequencies of these liquidation cases are as follows: political parties will not be able to nominate their observers or members to the district and circuit commissions, and the elections will in fact, as the authorities believe, be held in the closed regime. Because the main goal of the authorities is making sure that the would-be elections are closed and falsification is easy. This is my opinion."