In Belarus, a draft of amendments and additions to the constitution has been promulgated for discussion by the population. Among them are the creation of a new supreme body of democracy, changes in the powers of the president, the cadence of parliament, and much more. Izvestia talks about major amendments…
In Belarus, proposed amendments to the current constitution have been published for public discussion.
The amendments will be adopted by way of approval at a referendum, if more than half of the citizens who came to the polling stations vote “for”. The referendum is scheduled for the second half of February 2022. Voters will have to make a decision regarding the entire package of changes…
The amendments propose the creation of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly (VNS) – the highest representative body of democracy. The procedure for the formation of the ANS will be established by an additional law, which is to be adopted within a year. So far, it is known that both the president of the country and employees of all government bodies will be able to become delegates.
VI All-Belarusian People’s Assembly at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk
Photo: RIA Novosti / Maxim Guchek
The WPC will be headed by a chairman elected by the delegates. The term of the organ in one composition is five years. Obligation to meet for discussion and decision making – at least once a year.
The All-Belarusian People’s Assembly is endowed with broad powers, such as the appointment of judges of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts, members of the Central Election Commission. Delegates will have the right to impeach the president. Possible grounds are systematic or gross violation of the constitution, committing high treason or other grave crime.
The SNC will have the right to determine the main directions of domestic and foreign policy, call referendums, propose amendments to the constitution, introduce martial law, consider the issue of the legitimacy of elections, and submit bills to parliament.
The President of the Republic will lose the right to issue decrees having the force of law. However, he will be allowed to declare a state of emergency in the event of armed riots and riots. The term of office is limited to two terms of five years. These amendments will work from the day the elected head of Belarus takes office. In this way, Alyaksandr Lukashenka could theoretically become president twice more.
A citizen of Belarus over 40 years old (now 35 years old), who has lived in the country for at least 20 years, will allow a citizen of Belarus over 40 years old to qualify for the main post of the CEC. The candidate may not have ever in the past and at the time of the nomination of foreign citizenship, residence permit or other documents giving the right to benefits and advantages abroad.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the inauguration ceremony in Minsk
Photo: RIA Novosti / Andrey Stasevich
As Alexander Lukashenko said earlier, in the event of the violent death of the president, power will pass to the Security Council, headed by the chairman of the Council of the Republic.
The former president will be able to become a life member of the Council of the Republic. It will not be possible to prosecute him for actions committed during the period of being in the status of the first person.
Other changes to the basic law
The Republic of Belarus will prohibit the commission of military aggression from its territory against other countries. The amendments also provide for the possibility of declaring the country a nuclear zone and changing the neutral status of the state.…
The term of office of the Belarusian parliament will be increased from four to five years. It will not be possible to dissolve it in the first and last years of work.…
The project gives Belarus the right to provide asylum to foreigners and stateless persons persecuted in other countries.
Meeting of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Belarus
Photo: RIA Novosti / Victor Tolochko
Decisions and actions (inaction) of state bodies and officials that infringe on rights and freedoms can be appealed in court. Cases in courts are considered by judges individually, and in some cases – collegially.
The duty of the state to preserve the historical truth and memory of the heroic deed of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War is separately stipulated. Patriotism becomes the duty of every citizen of the republic.
What the amendments will give President Lukashenko
Belarusian political scientist Valery Karbalevich noted that the new constitutional reform was conceived as an element of the transit of power, but drew attention to its inconsistency. So, Karbalevich believes that if the amendments are adopted, the power of the incumbent president will be “spread over two centers, both of which he heads.”
– The powers of the president are decreasing, the powers of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly appear. Lukashenka wants to be elected as the main All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, – said the expert.
Photo: TASS / BelTA / Nikolay Petrov
Russian political scientist Andrei Suzdaltsev also believes that the main change is the creation of a second level of government, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly with serious powers.
– Lukashenka realized that he would lose the next elections. Therefore, he created such a superstructure that does not need to be chosen. At the post of its head, he can be as long as he wants. He got out of the control of society.
The expert described the form of state structure introduced by the amendments to the constitution as a monarchy, with which it will be difficult for the Russian Federation to synchronize in the format of the Union State.
– In fact, this is a reboot of the Belarusian political system. So that in the coming years it could exist stably, at the time of the transit of power it worked clearly, there were no opportunities for violent overthrow, seizure. An updated mechanism that will determine the political system of Belarus for the coming years, regardless of who will be the head of state, – said the Belarusian political scientist Aleksey Dzermant to Izvestia.
The expert believes that amendments coincide with the wishes of the majority of Belarusiansensuring stable evolutionary development. He noted that “there is an opposition part with a core of extremists, no one was going to satisfy their requests.”
Photo: TASS / Natalia Fedosenko
Dzermant is confident that the majority of the country’s citizens will come and vote for an updated constitution.
– As far as I understand, the constitutional commission wanted to take into account all those proposals, which came, including from citizens and organizations. We tried to make a slender text out of this. From what has been posted it is clear that a compromise was found, – said the Belarusian political scientist Denis Melyantsov to Izvestia.
In his opinion, the published draft makes it clear that for the first time, the authorities go to the redistribution of powers.
– State systems that are over-centralized have a serious vulnerability – the transfer of power. Here we are not pioneers, there is an example of Kazakhstan and other states in the post-Soviet space, which approached the transit or carried it out. It is important how the current head of state transfers power. This was probably the main motive [проведения конституционной реформы в Белоруссии], which contributes to a smoother transition in this difficult period, – the expert notes.