Bill on political parties passes two readings in Belarus
The bill “On amending the laws on the activities of political parties and other public associations” passed two readings at the meeting of the ninth session of the House of Representatives of the seventh convocation on 25 January, BelTA has learned.
The bill was submitted to the House of Representatives by the Council of Ministers. The bill is designed to improve legislation governing social and political relations, as well as to bring legislation into line with the amendments and additions adopted at the constitutional referendum.
Amendments are to be introduced to the laws “On political parties” and “On public associations”.
In particular, the bill provides that for a political party to be registered, it should have at least 5,000 members (which represents a significant increase in the threshold). It should also have offices in each region and in Minsk, and in at least one third of districts and cities of regional subordination in all regions of the country and in at least one third of the districts of Minsk. The bill proposes to lift the ban on financing political parties from the central budget or local budgets. The bills seeks to introduce tougher requirements to founders of political parties: these can only be citizens of the Republic of Belarus, permanently residing in the country and who have reached the age of 18.