On Political Parties

Law of the Republic of Belarus

No. 3266-XII of October 5, 1994 (Law contains all the later amendments and alterations. Last amendments of this Law: Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 213-Z of June 26, 2003)

Chapter 1. General Provisions Article 1. Notion of the Political Party

A political party is an independent association of citizens established on the basis of the individual voluntary membership, existing within the frameworks of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Belarus assisting to detection and expression of the political will of citizens and participating in elections.

Article 2. The Right for Union into the Political Parties

The citizens of the Republic of Belarus have the right for freedom of association to the political parties.

Article 3. Prohibition of the Limitation of Rights and Freedoms of Citizens Due to Their Belonging or Non-Belonging to the Political Parties.

Belonging or non-belonging of the citizen to the political party may not serve the reason for limitation of his/her rights and freedoms or for prevention from execution of the obligations set up in the law, except for the cases foreseen in the Article 12 of the present Law.

Belonging or non-belonging of the citizen to the political party may not serve the reason for provision or non-provision of benefits and advantages by the state.

The requirement of indication of the membership in either political party in the official documents is not allowed, except for the cases foreseen in the Article 12 of the present Law.

Article 4. Main Principles of the Activity of Political Parties

Political parties are to act on the basis of the principles of the freedom of associations, democracy, self-management, legality, publicity and equality of all political parties.

Political parties are to base their activity in accordance with their charters and programs.

The activity of political parties shall not interfere with the execution of the functions by the bodies of the state power and administration, enterprises, organizations and institutions.

Article 5. The State and Political Parties

The state is to guarantee protection of the rights and legal interests of political parties, creation of the conditions for fulfilment of the chartered aims and goals, including by means of using the state mass media.

The bodies of the state power and administration, enterprises, organizations, institutions and their officials shall not interfere with the internal affairs of the political parties, or prevent from execution of their activity in any form if its is carried out in accordance with the law and the charters.

Article 6. Limitations at Establishment and Activity of Political Parties

Political parties of other states and their territorial units may not be established and fulfill their activity on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

It is forbidden to establish and lead the activity of the political parties having their aim of the forced change of the constitutional system or performing the propaganda of war, the national, religious and racial hostility.

The ideology of political parties may not be set up as the mandatory one for the citizens.

Article 7. Methods of Activity of Political Parties

The political parties are to implement their aims and goals via:

development and propaganda of political programs, addresses and declarations;

performance of congresses, conferences and other party meetings;

promotion of candidates at elections, participation in election campaigns, including by means of establishment of the election blocks with another parties, as well as in control of the course and the results of elections;

participation in preparation of the state decisions;

a more active participation of the citizens in control of the state and public affairs, in formation of the representative bodies and the local administrative bodies;

impact on the state of the public opinion within the framework of the existing legislation by another democratic methods.

Article 8. Legislation on Political Parties

The legislation on political parties consists of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

Chapter 2. Procedure of Establishment of Political Parties

Article 9. Founders of Political Parties

Citizens of the Republic of Belarus, having reached the age of 18 years, having the right of voting and having no limitations of the capability by the court and being not in the places of imprisonment are entitled to act as the founders of the political parties.

Article 10. Conditions of Establishment of Political Parties

For establishment of the political party it should have at least 500 founding members.

Political parties are to be founded at the founding congresses, conferences (other founding organization measures). The founding congress, the conference (another founding organizational measure) are to take a decision on establishment of the political party, its title, charter, program and they are to form the election bodies.

The political parties are to be formed exclusively on the territorial principle.

Article 11. Charters of Political Parties

The charters of the political parties shall be open for acquaintance by all and they shall contain the following provisions:

1) aims, goals and methods of activity;

2) the full and abbreviated title;

3) the structure of the party and of the elected bodies;

4) the procedure of acceptance to the party and of the exit from it;

5) rights and obligations of the party members;

6) the procedure of formation of the elected bodies, their competence and terms of authorities;

7) the procedure of acceptance and appeal of the party decisions, their implementation and forms of control;

8) conditions of the membership, forms and dates of calling the party members and/or their representatives;

9) sources of formation of means and property;

10) the procedure of entering changes and additions to the charter;

11) the procedure of reorganization or liquidation of the party and solutions on its property;

12) the location place of the heading bodies of the party.

The charter may foresee other provisions concerning the formation and activity of the political party and not contradicting to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 12. Membership in Political Parties. Quantitative Composition of Political parties

The political parties are to have the fixed membership.

Only the citizens of the Republic of Belarus may be the members of the political parties.

The President of the Republic of Belarus is to suspend the membership in the political parties for the whole period of authorities.

Judges, public prosecutors, members of the internal affairs bodies, the Chamber of Control of the Republic of Belarus, the security service, militaries and other persons having the status of the military men may not be the members of the political parties for the whole period of the authorities.

A political party member has the right of the free exit from the party.

The quantity of the political party may not be less than the number of its founders.

Article 13. Title and Symbols of Political Parties

The titles of the political parties, including the abbreviated ones and their symbols shall differ from the titles and symbols of other political parties and social action organizations registered in the Republic of Belarus, and they shall not violate the rights for the intellectual ownership.

The titles of the political parties shall not bear the indications to the official titles of the states, both full and abbreviated ones; the titles whereof the use contravene to the legislation or the public morality; proper names of the persons if they do not coincide with the names of the founding members and the founding members have not received the permits of such persons (their heirs).

The use of the state symbols of the Republic of Belarus or the symbols of another state is not allowed as the symbol of the political party.

The titles and symbols of the political parties may not serve for the propaganda of the aims indicated in the second part of the Article 6 of the present Law.

The titles of the political parties, including the abbreviated ones, and their symbols shall differ from the titles and symbols of those political parties which have been liquidated as per judgement of the court.

The symbols of the political parties are to be approved by their leading bodies in compliance with the charters and they are subject to the state registration by the body which registers or has registered the political party.

Chapter 3. Registration, Reorganization and Liquidation of Political Parties

Article 14. Procedure of Registration of Political Parties

Registration of political parties is to be carried out by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The following documents are to be submitted for registration of the political party within a month from the day of adoption of the charter:

1) an application signed by at least three members of the leading body of the party;

2) the charter;

3) the program;

4) the minutes of the founding congress, conference (another founding organizational measure);

5) the documents confirming the number of party founding members;

6) the document of the bank confirming the payment of the registration charge;

7) materials confirming the fulfilment of the requirements of the present Law, including:

the information on the members of the elected bodies (the surname, the name, the patronymic, the year of birth, the place of residence and work, the telephone number);

the application of the persons mentioned in part two of the Article 13 of the present Law on the consent for the use of the proper name of a citizen in the title of the political party;

the decision of the supreme body of the party on transfer of the authorities to the members of the leading body with the authorities of representing the political party in the process of registration or in case of any disputes in the court.

The application for the registration of the political party is to be considered within a month from the day of its submission. Based on the results of consideration the decision is to be taken on the registration of the political party, adjournment in the registration or the refusal from the registration. The decision is to be provided or sent by mail to the leading body of the political party not later than within three days from taking the decision.

From the date of registration the political party is to acquire the rights of the legal entity.

At introduction of changes and additions to the main provisions of the charter shown in clauses 1 and 2 of the Article 11 of the present Law the political parties are to be registered as per procedure and within the period foreseen in the present Article. At introduction of other changes and additions to the charter only these changes and additions are to be registered.

The information on registration of the political party is to be published in an official edition.

Article 15. Adjournment of Registration of the Political Party

The registration may be adjourned for a period by three months in case of violation of the procedure of setting up the political parties as foreseen in the present Law.

The decision on the adjournment of registration shall contain the reasons of postponement of the registration of the political party.

Article 16. Refusal from Registration of the Political Party

The refusal from the registration of the political party is to take place in case if:

1) the charter certifies to the fact that the aims, goals and methods of activity of the political party contradict to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus;

2) the requirements mentioned in the decision on the adjournment of the registration have not been met within three months.

In case of the refusal from registration of the political party the leading body is to be informed about that in writing within the period set up for registration with indication of the grounds for the refusal and the violated legal standards.

Article 17. Appeal against the Refusal from Registration of the Political Party

If registration of the political party has not taken place within the foreseen term, or it has been refused from on the reasons considered groundless by the leading body of the political party it may appeal against the decision taken to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within a month from obtaining such a decision.

Article 18. Procedure of Account of Organizational Structures of Political Parties

The local bodies of justice are to account for the organizational structures of the political parties if it is foreseen in the charter documents that the organizational structures are the legal entities.

In order to put onto account the heads of the party are to provide the corresponding documents to these bodies on establishment of the organizational structure.

Article 19. State Register of Political Parties

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus is to keep the State Register of political parties.

Article 20. Certificates of Registration of Political Parties, their Symbols and Organizational Structures.

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus is to issue certificates on registration of a party and/or its symbols within three days after taking the decision on registration of the political party.

The local bodies of justice are to issue the certificates on putting on account to the organizational structures of the political parties and/or its symbols.

Article 21. Charge for Registration of Political Parties and Their Symbols

A fee is to be charged in the amounts set up by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus for registration of political parties and their symbols if the registration of the symbols takes place not at the same time with the registration of the party.

Article 22. Reorganization and Liquidation of Political Parties

Reorganization of political parties (merging, joining, separation, divide from or transformation) is to be carried out as per decision of the supreme bodies. Registration of the newly formed political parties after reorganization is to be implemented in accordance with the present Law.

Political parties may be liquidated:

1) as per decision of their leading bodies;

2) as per judgement of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus on the grounds foreseen in the Article 35 of the present Law.

The application for liquidation of political parties is to be submitted to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus or by Procurator's office of the Republic of Belarus.

The funds and the property of the liquidated political parties after satisfaction of the proprietary claims are to be used as per procedure foreseen in their charters.

The decision of the supreme body of the political party on its liquidation or the corresponding judgement by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus is to be sent to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, the corresponding financial body and is to be published in the official edition.

Based on the decision of the supreme body of the political party or on the judgement of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus is to expel the liquidated political party from the State Register of political parties, and the local bodies of justice are too take its organizational structures off the account.

Chapter 4. Rights and Conditions of Activity of Political Parties

Article 23. Rights of the Political Parties

From the moment of registration the political parties are entitled to:

1) freely spread the information on their activities, advocate their ideas, aims and decisions;

2) set up their printing editions, carry out the publisher's activity, as well as to use the state mass media means in the established order;

3) perform the meetings, demonstrations and other mass arrangements as per procedure set up in the legislation;

4) influence on elaboration of the corresponding decisions in the state elected bodies via their representatives;

5) participate in the preparation and conductance of elections, promote the candidates and carry out their election campaign; to form the election blocks for participation in the election campaign and voting;

6) maintain the ties with other political parties and social action organizations.

The political parties may have other rights foreseen in the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 24. Ownership of Political Parties

Political parties may own any property required for the material provision of their activity foreseen in the charter, except for the objects, which may be possessed by only the state as per the law.

Article 25. Production, Economic and Commercial Activity of Political Parties

Political parties, institutions and organizations set up by them have no right to establish enterprises, except for the mass media means, as well as to keep the economic and other commercial activity, except for sale of the public and political literature, other propagandist and promotion materials, commodities with the own symbols, performance of festivals, celebrations, exhibitions, lectures, other public and political events.

The political parties may use their funds for charitable purposes even if this is not shown in the charters.

Article 26. Funds of the Political Parties

The sources of the monetary and other funds of the political parties are:

1) the entrance and membership contributions;

2) benefits from the property, the publisher's activity, distribution of the print editions and publications, the use of other mass media means;

3) proceeds from performance of the cultural mass , charitable and other events;

4) donations and gifts;

5) other proceeds not prohibited by the legislation.

The members of the political parties have no right for possession of the property and financial funds of the party and bear no responsibility for its debts. Political party bears no responsibility for the obligations of their individual members.

Article 27. Limitations in Financing the Political Parties

Financing of the parties is not allowed from the state budget.

The bodies of the state power and administration, state enterprises, institutions and organizations have no right of financing the political parties.

The political parties, their institutions and organizations shall not directly or indirectly obtain the funds and other property from:

foreign states and organizations, international organizations, foreign citizens and the persons without citizenship;

anonymous charitors.

Participation of the political parties in scientific conferences, party congresses and other events at the expense of the accepting party is not to be considered as receival of unlawful means.

The political parties have no right to obtain the profits from shares and other securities, they shall not have accounts in foreign banks and keep valuable goods there.

Donations or gifts obtained as per procedure not complying with the requirements of the present Article, shall be transferred to the state budget.

Article 28. Protection of Rights of Political Parties

Protection of rights and legal interests of political parties is to be carried out in the legal form.

Chapter 5. Supervision and Control of the Compliance of the Activity of Political Parties with the Legislation and Their Charters

Article 29. The Prosecutor's Supervision over Compliance of the Activity of Political Parties with the Legislation

Supervision of the compliance of the activity of political parties with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the laws of the Republic of Belarus is to be executed by the General Procurator of the Republic of Belarus and his subordinate public prosecutors.

Article 30. Control of the Compliance of the activity of Political Parties with the Legislation and their Charters

Control of the compliance of the activity of the political parties with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the legislation in force and their charters is to be executed by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The officials of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus registering the political parties within their official duties are entitled to participate in all events of the political parties, study their documents and decisions, demand and receive the information on the issues of the chartered activity and the quantity composition of the political parties.

Article 31. Control of the Financial Activity of Political Parties

Control of the financial activity of the political parties, sources of their incomes, amounts of the obtained funds and payment of taxes is to be executed by the state taxation bodies. Political parties are to provide the corresponding report to the taxation bodies on the financial activity mentioning the credit and debit parts of the budget annually not later than by March 1 of the following year.

Chapter 6. Responsibility of Political Parties for Violation of the Legislation

Article 32. Responsibility for Violation of the Legislation

Political parties are to bear responsibility for violations of the Constitutions of the Republic of Belarus, the present Law and other legislative acts in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

The political party having caused the material or moral damage with the unlawful actions to citizens, the state or the legal entities shall compensate it as per procedure foreseen in the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 33. Types of Penalties

For violations of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus the following types of penalties may be applied towards the political parties:

1) a written warning;

2) a liquidation of the political party.

Article 34. Written Warning

In case of commitment by a political party of the actions violating the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the present Law, other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus and/or charter, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus is to issue a written warning to the leading body of this political party.

The warning is to be declared or mailed to the leading body of the political party not later than within 3 days after its issue.

A written warning of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus can be appealed against in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 35. Liquidation of the Political Party

The political party is to be liquidated on the decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus in cases of:

1) commitment by the party of the actions foreseen in part two of the Article 6 of the present Law;

2) the repeated during the same year commitment of actions for which the written warning was issued;

3) if at registration of the political party such violations of the present Law were made by its founding members which had the fatal character.

Chapter 7. International Relations of Political Parties. International Treaties

Article 36. International Relations of Political Parties

Political parties in accordance with their charters are entitled to maintain relations with political parties, international and other organizations of other states.

Article 37. International Treaties

If an international treaty of the Republic of Belarus states other rules than are contained in the present Law, the rules of the international treaty are to be applied.

This translation is unofficial.

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