MINSK, 9 April (BelTA) – Belarusian Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky talked to reporters about planned novelties in the regulations on political parties after a government conference hosted by the head of state on 9 April, BelTA has learned.
The official reminded that work on the relevant bill has been in progress for about two years already. The development of this document was specified by the lawmaking plan for the year 2019.
Oleg Slizhevsky said: “Today the head of state was made familiar with some approaches to amending the legislation. The expansion of significance of political parties taking into account their membership in the regions was discussed. Higher representation of political parties in the regions was suggested. The minimal membership of a political party is under consideration as well. The current threshold of 1,000 party members may be raised.”
The bill is also supposed to incorporate regulations meant to improve the transparency of the operation of political parties. Parties may be told to annually explain their activities and spending to members. Belarusian public associations are required to do it. There are plans to limit the funding of a political party by one organization or one citizen to 1,000 base amounts per annum, the official said. The document also provides for specifying the periodicity of elections inside the party – at least once every four years.
According to Oleg Slizhevsky, practice indicates that not all political parties nominate their representatives to organs of power while participation in elections is their main purpose. “The bill provides for liquidating a political party if it fails to nominate a candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly for two election campaigns in a row,” the justice minister said.
The official made it clear that introducing tougher requirements is not the idea. The novelties are designed to stimulate political parties to step up their work. “The work is still at the stage of development of approaches but parties should already start thinking how they will satisfy requirements of the legislation once these norms are implemented in a specific law,” the official warned. “They should think about recruiting more members and setting up bodies in the regions so that the adoption of the law would not surprise them.”
According to Oleg Slizhevsky, there is no specific timeframe for the development of the bill. The matter should not be rushed yet at the same time the developers are encouraged to work hard. All the matters should be reconciled with a broad range of interested parties. “We need balanced approaches, which will result in the development of a political party system that meets today's requirements of the Belarusian society,” he summed up.