Justice ministry denies registration to Party of Freedom and Progress
The justice ministry has denied state registration to the Party of Freedom and Progress (PFP).
The minutes of the nomination meetings for the PFP founding conference show that representation requirements for the conference were violated on many occasions, the justice ministry says in its reply to the registration application.
Despite the ministry's repeated inquiries, the PFP founding committee failed to submit all necessary minutes, the reply says.
In addition, a spot check of the list of the PFP's alleged founders established that many people had been misled into signing it, the ministry says. Many did not take part in nomination meetings or never put their signatures in support of the party's founding, the ministry says.
According to it, the list contains the names of 91 alleged students of Vitsyebsk State University and Vitsyebsk State Technological University. However, 90 of them never studied at these universities and one was expelled as far back as 2006, the ministry says.
On June 5, PFP Chairman Uladzimir Navasyad complained to the justice ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office about pressure from the Committee for State Security (KGB).
"Immediately after we applied for registration, some of the PFP founders were invited to interviews with KGB officers," Mr. Navasyad told BelaPAN.
The officers checked the spelling of the names and addresses on the founders' list, Mr. Navasyad said. The interviewees were warned that they would be visited at their homes and work places and any false data would eventually come to light, he said.
The Party of Freedom and Progress held the founding conference on April 18.
Its long-standing leader, Uladzimir Navasyad, a former lawmaker, was elected at the founding conference to chair the party. Alyaksandr Silkaw was elected first deputy chairman. Syarhey Kazlowski, Mikhail Brusakow and Alyaksandr Melnikaw were elected deputy chairmen.
Seventy-three delegates from across the country took part in the conference. They adopted the party’s charter and program.
The Party of Freedom and Progress held its first founding conference in November 2003. According to its charter, the party aims to promote the values of democracy, liberalism, and the rule of law, develop Belarus` civil society, and defend the principles of constitutionality and self-government.
The justice ministry rejected the first registration application over alleged flaws in the party's founding documents.
In June 2004, Mr. Navasyad applied again for state registration. This time, the ministry denied legal status to the party on the allegation that the founding process was flawed.
The third application, filed in May 2005, was rejected over alleged discrepancies in the minutes of nomination meetings for the founding conference. In addition, 45 signatures for founding the party were declared invalid.