The Supreme Court of Belarus has refused to hear a suit filed by the Belarusian Party of Working People (BPWP) against the justice ministry, which ordered the party’s founders to submit additional papers for a decision on their registration application to be made.
The court explained that it does not hear complaints about the postponement of registration decisions, Alyaksandr Bukhvostaw, a leader of the BPWP founding committee, told BelaPAN on Friday.
On September 8, the justice ministry gave the founding committee two weeks to submit the minutes of the nomination meetings for the BPWP founding conference and its own meetings. The founders condemned the order as unlawful and refused to obey it.
"As always, the justice ministry uses local authorities and police to probe our founding conference for irregularities," Mr. Bukhvostaw said. "Our activists are under psychological pressure to deny having signed the party's founding documents."
It is not unlikely that the BPWP's application will soon be rejected, Mr. Bukhvostaw said. In this event, the party will complain to the Supreme Court, he added.
"We still believe that all the required papers were submitted," he said. "In the courtroom, however, we'll produce the other papers to prove that our nomination meetings were held in strict accordance with the decision of the founding committee."
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 took place 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.
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.