Belarusian Christian Democracy to try to have its local chapters registered as non-governmental organizations
Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) plans to apply for the
registration of its local chapters as non-governmental organizations,
BCD Executive Secretary Dzyanis Sadowski told reporters in Minsk on
Authorities may charge BCD members with acting on behalf on an unregistered organization under Article 193-1 of the Criminal Code while the registration of BCD as a political party looks impossible considering the current circumstances, he explained.
"That is why we start to apply for the registration of non-governmental organizations all over Belarus, which will, in any case, be named 'Belarusian Christian Democracy,’” he added.
Mr. Sadowski noted that the registration of a non-governmental organization in the provinces would require less effort and less money. "Only 10 founders are required for the registration of a city-level non-governmental organization," he said.
According to him, the first founding conference for a local BCD organization will be held in Vitsyebsk on October 27.
BCD Co-chairman Vital Rymashewski noted that the justice ministry had always given some insignificant reasons to deny BCD registration as a party. “The ministry explained that, for instance, someone refused to attend the founding conference or there was something wrong with signatures or personal data,” he said. “Today we invite diplomats and journalists to attend those founding conferences for them to see that all the founders without exception are present there. To prevent authorities from pointing to flaws in charters as a reason for registration denial, the charters will be patterned after the charter of the registered Movement for Freedom."
As Mr. Rymashewski said, such founding conferences are expected to be held in each of the six regional capitals of Belarus. "We could hold founding conferences in 100 or 150 cities, but there exists the problem of a legal address,” he said. “It’s hard to obtain one and it’s easy to lose it because organizations ready to provide it immediately come under pressure and are subjected to inspections.”
However, Mr. Rymashewski said that he had no illusion that at least one non-governmental organization would get registered. "This will be another proof of what kind of democracy we have," he said.
Belarusian Christian Democracy has held four founding conferences in an effort to obtain official registration, but each time – twice in 2009, once in 2010 and once in 2011 – the justice ministry rejected its registration application.