Speaking before the Leninsky district court of Minsk at the process of Alyaxandar Chigir, Anton Yashin and Dmitry Yutskevich Yulia Chigir (Alyaxandar’s mother) declared that legal action against her son had been fabricated. Yulia Chigir reminded that her son faced legal proceedings ahead of the presidential elections. In her half-hour long speech the lady spoke in detail about the activities of the investigation group, which were against the law.
There’s plenty of time left before the start of another political campaign – elections into the local Soviets are to take place this autumn. However, the Belarusian authorities, being seemingly guided by the popular Russian saying “get the toboggan ready in summer and a cart – in winter”, have already begun preparations for the forthcoming election campaign. Last week the members of the “parliamentary” Permanent Commission for human rights, national relations and media determined to include into the spring session’s agenda a draft law on amendments into the law “On political parties”. The law has been worked out under the presidential decree “On some measures to sophisticate the order of assemblies, meetings, street rallies, demonstrations, other mass events and picketing in the Republic of Belarus” and significantly limits the activities of political parties and public associations.
Workers of the “Grodnotekstil” company put forth an ultimatum to their plant’s leadership. 154 employees signed their “take-it-or-leave-it” petition to the director general Vitaly Bykov. They demand that they be paid their December and January money on February 27. Yesterday they received their December salaries, while today they started getting their January money. However, the company’s accountants claim that at the moment there’s no way they can pay out the January salaries in full. The workers warned them than that on March 11 they will go for a warning strike, reports Radio Svaboda.
Belarusian tax bodies intend to fight the practice of salary payments “in envelopes”, declared deputy Minister for taxation Alyaxandar Doroshenko. Their main target is private companies, as far as the state ones, according to the official, are all under control. “Mostly this has to do with the non-state companies and both private entrepreneurs with different forms of ownership, except the state,” – underscored Doroshenko.
Leader of the election bloc “Nasha Ukraina” Viktor Yuschenko doesn’t rule out a possibility of the parliamentary election’s falsification. The man said this at today’s press-conference in Lugansk, answering the journalists’ questions on the recent statement by the SDPU (O) leader Viktor Medvedchuk about the impossibility of the voting-2002 being rigged.
Overnight on February 26 the youth election headquarters of the Yuliya Tymoshenko’s bloc in Kyiv, and the office equipment was destroyed, the head of the bloc’s headquarters Oleksandr Turchynov said to UNIAN. Besides, as Turchynov said, on February 26, in the apartment of the vice chairman of the bloc Yaroslav Fedorchuk, the unidentified have broke open the door and searched the possessions of the personal belongings, that looked like an unsanctioned search and pogrom. According to Turchynov, it is evident that the unknown were interested in the professional activities of Fedorchuk.
The center of political analysis and consulting of the “Polytichna Dumka” magazine, publicized the results of the poll, concerning the voting moods in the society. Having surveyed some 30 thousand respondents, the sociologists received the results, according to which the three main leaders in Ukraine are “Nasha Ukraina”, the Communist party and Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc. In total, according to statistics, around 7 parties and blocs have chances of winning parliamentary seats.
Grave situation with the light industry companies of the Homel region has been a matter of discussions at the meeting between the Homel regional council and the national concern “Bellegprom”, that took place on February 26 in Homel. The event attracted chair of the regional council Alyaxandar Yakobson and concern’s first Vice-Premier Vladimir Ostrovsky, as well as the leaders of all light industry companies from the region. BelaPAN quotes Yakobson as saying that the situation with light industry is so tough that he even gives it priority over the upcoming sowing campaign. The industry’s enterprises fail to fulfill even one established parameter on economic development.
A consultation on the problems of the butter and fat industry of the country took place on Tuesday, February 26, with participation of vice Prime Minister Alyaxandar Papkou. The state of affairs is more than depressing. For instance, the figures for November 1, 2001, the debts of the four plants of this industry was equal to 32,225 million roubles.
Over two thirds of migrants flood to Ukraine from the territory of Russia and Belarus. In order to stop this unfortunate practice the Ukrainians are creating a special protection belt around its territories, declared at today’s press-conference in Odessa head of the chief headquarters of the Ukrainian frontier troops, colonel-general Pavel Shisholin.
Secretary general of the Council of Europe Walter Shwimmer sent a response to the letter, forwarded to him in January by the wives of the harassed Belarusian oppositionists – Ludmila Karpenko, Olga Zakharenko, Zinaida Gonchar, Irina Krasovskaya, Tatyana Klimova and Svetlana Zavadskaya. Following comes the full text of Walter Shwimmer’s letter:
A hearing of the case on insult of Lukashenka ‘s dignity and honor was resumed on February 26, in Shklou regional court. Five local activists of the ZUBR movement, who were wearing masks with moustaches and carried out a pre-election performance in the village of Haradzets, where Lukashenka once worked as a director of the state farm. Another sitting of the court started with replacement of the legal representative of the accused. A lawyer Valery Labuzau was substituted by his foil from the capital. A representative of the movement Zubr informed that the new lawyer Supelka has an experience in such trials.
The administration of the Moskovsky district of the capital addressed the court over the deprivation of parental rights of the assistant prosecutor of the Minskky district Tamara Knyazeva. Her beating of a 10-year adopted son Nikita Knyazev has been recognized by lawyers as an act of torture.
Independent trade union of the manufacturing association “Polimir” has received an authorization to carry out a meeting on February 27. The action will be supported by the Independent trade union of the private entrepreneurs of Navapolatsk. The activists of the local branch of the United Civil Party are to participate as well. As said by the coordinators of the meeting, the protest is held against deteriorating living standards and violations of the rights of workers and trade unions. Trade unions called on the dwellers of Navapolatsk to support the protest and, besides, make the local authorities to solve the problems of mini-markets and taxation that now is performed disregarding income of the citizens.
Employees of the two largest enterprises of the oil chemical industry “Naftan” and “Palimir” at the ir conferences in February has decided on issuing shares. The both plants need reconstruction and upgrading of the equipment badly. Only the upgrading of the units of the “Naftan” would cost USD 246 million. Besides, it is planned to revive the unit AT-8, that has been standing still for more than 10 years. “Palimir” has similar problems. The warehouses are full to capacity with the products. It cannot compete. To cut down the expenses for its manufacturing and improve its quality, the modernization is needed as well. The companies lose markets, and it would not be easy to return to them. “Naftan” has already been ousted from Ukraine.
The state-run unitary enterprise “Himvolokno” launched the privileged sale of shares. The company is getting transformed into the open joint stock. As stressed by “Himvolokno” people, the number of shares, belonging to the personnel, will depend on the size of demand, reports IA “EKOPRESS”. As you remember, the transformation is being implemented within the framework of de-nationalization of the leading enterprises of the Belarusian state concern for chemistry and petroleum. Among the first ones are also “Naftan”, “Polimir”, “Azot”, “Belshina” and “Himvolokno”.
The Belarusian Metallurgic Plant curtails expenses on social protection of its workers. The decision has been passed by the company’s leadership in connection with the tough economic situation the plant faces. It was decided to completely halt the funding of the construction works. They even stopped paying bonus money for the workers’ health rehabilitation, holiday leaves allowances, monthly allowances to those in line for apartment, rendering assistance to those, whose family members die, as well as to the retired soldiers.