Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Justice ministry denies registration to Belarusian Christian Democracy

The Belarusian Ministry of Justice has lifted the suspension of its registration denial to Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD), taking the final decision not to give the legal status to the opposition party.

The justice ministry denied state registration to the BCD party on April 15, citing flaws in its application papers and other minor irregularities.

Two days later, the ministry issued a statement saying that it had suspended the registration denial because of "the need to study additional information".

In its statement issued on May 12, the ministry said that the party’s founding conference had been marred by "numerous violations of regulations governing the founding of political parties", noting that the "violations are of an irremediable nature".

The ministry reiterated its previous accusation that some people on the list of BCD founders had not taken part in meetings held in provinces to pick up delegates to the founding conference and had not participated in the founding conference later.

It said that some people taking part in the founding conference had not been delegated at local meetings, as required.
"A number of BCD founders who allegedly participated in [local] meetings failed to say when and where they were held, how many people were present at them or the names of delegates selected to take part in the founding conference", the ministry said.

The ministry also accused BCD activists of cheating people out of their signatures for the list of the party’s founders.
It stressed that its "additional check" had confirmed the violations.

The BCD has a month to appeal against the registration denial to the Supreme Court. "I have no doubt that BCD will be denied registration", Pavel Sevyarynets, a member of the BCD founding committee, told BelaPAN earlier this month. "A government TV channel is now making a report about our party. Local authorities force our activists say on record that they did not participate in the BCD founding conference. This is being done to justify the registration denial".

The government is afraid of legalizing a party that cooperates with educational institutions and churches, Mr. Sevyarynets said. "We`ll continue to work irrespective of the justice ministry`s decision", he said.