Oppositional Parties Answer to Justice Ministry
In the press-release of the Ministry of Justice of 12 January 2008 it was stated that during the unauthorized meeting of entrepreneurs the Belarusian legislation on mass actions was grossly violated. The participation of the leaders of the United Civil Party, the BPF Party and the Party of Communists Belarusian was mentioned as well. The Ministry demanded from the parties to answer whether they empowered their leaders to take part in the action and express their public position concerning this in the case they did not.
According to the member of the political council of the United Civil Party Siarhei Alfer, the UCP has already directed its answer to the ministry.
‘Though such short terms do not correspond to the legislation, we have sent our answer. Here it is written that the UCP did not consider the question of Mr. Liabedzka’s participation in this event. What concerns the ministry’s question concerning the use of the official party flag at the action, the party has never prohibited and is not going to prohibit the use of its symbols by its members. The demand to express the party’s attitude to the action is considered illegal by the party.’
Bear in mind that Anatol Liabedzka has been sentenced to 15 days of jail for participation in the action of protest of entrepreneurs against presidential decree #760 that threatens them with redundancy.
Siarhei Alfer considers the inquiries of the Ministry of Justice politically motivated. According to the Belarusian laws, if a political party organizes an event during which serious law violations take place, this party can be liquidated by court.
The secretary of the central office of the BPF Party Uladzimir Labkovich considers such demands of the Ministry of Justice as an attempt to pressurize the party.
‘This demand does not correspond to the law. The participation of a member of the BPF Party in any mass event as a private individual is his private business. Our political party will not give any evaluation to the activity of our members which took place on their private initiative. At its assembly of 12 January the BPF Party expressed its attitude to the situation of entrepreneurs. We are glad that the Ministry of Justice demands from us to give publicity to our position concerning the action of protest of the entrepreneurs.’
According to Labkovich, to do this the party has directed to the editorial office of the Sovetskaya Belorussiya and the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company the demand to provide it with such a possibility.
The leader of the Party of Communists Belarusian Siarhei Kaliakin has also taken part in the action, but did not receive any letters from the Ministry of Justice.
‘If we receive an official inquiry, we will answer to them in conformity with the legislation. The activity of the party is suspended since 2 August. Now the Ministry of Justice tells us to hold some sittings and express its position on some political issues. The party cannot do it. It would be quite strange, because the Ministry of Justice must stand for implementation of the laws and must not instigate to their violations,’ Kaliakin commented.
Bear in mind that on 30 January the Supreme Court will consider suit on liquidation of the Party of Communists Belarusian, filed by the Ministry of Justice.