Entities to which International Guarantees Apply

Movement for Democratic Kingdom v Bulgaria (decision), 29 November 1995 [ECtHR]


Case no 27608/95

The applicant party complains under Article 11 of the Convention that the authorities unlawfully and arbitrarily refused to register it. Thus the courts stated that the statute of the party had to be adopted by a duly convened general assembly, whereas under Section 7 of the Act on Political Parties only a founding meeting was necessary. The applicant party had submitted a "founding protocol" thereby approving the amended statute and therefore had complied with the law. (...)

The Commission recalls its case law according to which a refusal of the authorities to register an association does not necessarily involve an interference with its rights under Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention where the association is nevertheless free to continue its activities (No. 14233/88, Dec. 5.6.91, D.R. 70 p. 218, 236; and No. 18874/91, Dec. 12.1.94, D.R. 76 p. 44, 49).
The Commission notes that an unregistered association, such as the applicant in the present case, is authorised by law to engage in "political activity", but cannot participate in elections.
Furthermore, the Commission notes that the applicant party was free at any time to rectify the procedural omissions by convening a general assembly for the approval of the amended statute.  Such a formal requirement was neither arbitrary, nor an onerous obstacle. Moreover, the possibility for the applicant party to submit a fresh petition for registration, once it has complied with the pertinent requirements under the law, has remained open.
Therefore, the Commission does not find that the Bulgarian courts, when refusing the applicant party's petition for registration in the particular circumstances of the case, have interfered with its rights under Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention.
It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

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