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BELARUSIAN MINISTRY DENIES REGISTRATION TO LEFTIST ALLIANCE. The Justice Ministry has refused registration to the Union of Leftist Parties, which consists of the Belarusian Women's Party Hope, the Belarusian Party of Communists, and the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported on February 15. The ministry said the main reason behind the registration denial was that the union held its founding congress abroad, which according to the ministry "runs counter to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and the charters of political parties." The three Belarusian parties founded their union in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in December, after failing to lease a venue for the congress in Minsk. JM
UKRAINIAN CABINET TAKES PRESIDENT TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych said in a television interview on February 15 that in early March the Constitutional Court will examine a cabinet petition regarding what he sees as President Viktor Yushchenko's failure to perform his constitutional duties, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www.pravda.com.ua) reported. Lavrynovych explained that Yushchenko failed to dismiss an unspecified number of the heads of district administrations in whom local councilors passed no-confidence motions by a two-thirds majority. Under the constitution, a no-confidence vote supported by two-thirds of local lawmakers is sufficient to oblige the president to dismiss the head of a district or oblast administration. JM