Founders of the Belarusian Party of Working People (BPWP) have filed a suit in the Supreme Court against the justice ministry, Alyaksandr Bukhvostaw, chair of the party’s founding committee, told BelaPAN. Mr. Bukhvostaw said that the suit had been filed on September 21.
The party is contesting the justice ministry’s decision to request additional papers for a decision on its registration application to be made, he said, adding that the BPWP had rejected the request.
Earlier this year, the justice ministry postponed a decision on the party’s registration bid.
Mr. Bukhvostaw expressed hope that the justice ministry would "stop conducting the repressive examination of the party’s establishment."
"The founders of the Belarusian Christian Democracy and the Party of Freedom and Progress have already come up against repressive actions by the justice ministry," Mr. Bukhvostaw said. "As far as we know, there is a tacit decision not to register political parties in Belarus. If that is the case, then why do they stage theatrical shows involving examinations, speeches by justice ministry representatives in the Supreme Court?"
The BPWP founding committee filed a registration application with the justice ministry on August 24. Sixty-five delegates reportedly attended the party’s founding conference, which was held in Minsk on July 26. They adopted the party's program and charter.
Mr. Bukhvostaw, a prominent trade union leader, was elected chairman of the party and Mikalay Pakhabaw and Andrey Yewdakimovich were elected deputy chairmen.
While considering the registration application, the justice ministry requested the party to submit the minutes of the nomination meetings for the founding conference and its own meetings, but the organization refused to do so. The Belarusian Party of Working People is viewed as the successor to the Belarusian Party of Labor, which was closed in 2004.
The Belarusian Party of Labor was founded in 1993 and led by Mr. Bukhvostaw for most of its existence. It was closed in August 2004 for allegedly providing false information about its membership and failing to obtain a valid legal address and abide by its own charter.