Updated at 17:58,12-04-2021

Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party's appeal to be heard in Supreme Court next week

An appeal against the justice ministry's decision to invalidate a repeat convention of the Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party (BSDP) will be heard by a judge of the Supreme Court on October 26.

"Despite all odds, a human being should always retain hope," Iryna Veshtard, who was elected BSDP chairperson at the convention, told BelaPAN. "We hope that the judge will make a just decision. We won't try to turn the hearing into a PR campaign. This is our private matter. We are exercising our legitimate right to appeal court rulings."

The Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party held its repeat convention on June 5.

The justice ministry conducted a probe and established that delegates to the convention had been elected hastily and in gross violation of the party's charter, which is why the event was declared illegitimate and the application for registering the adopted amendments to the charter was rejected, according to the ministry's press office.

Ms. Veshtard was elected chairperson of the BSDP with 77 delegates voting in favor of her and one against her. Seven delegates abstained. Ms. Veshtard promised that she would work to preserve the BSDP's unity and, unlike her predecessor, Anatol Lyawkovich, would not obstruct the party's activities.

The party held the repeat convention after the justice ministry refused to recognize the results of a convention that was held on October 10, 2010. That meeting ended with the election of Anatol Sidarevich as chairperson of the BSDP instead of Anatol Lyawkovich, but Mr. Lyawkovich denounced the meeting as flawed and refused to quit his post. A month later, the justice ministry declared the convention illegitimate, taking the side of Mr. Lyawkovich and pointing to "irregularities" in preparations for the convention.

Officially, Mr. Lyawkovich remains chairperson of the BSDP, but a vast majority of the party's members do not recognize him as their leader.