Aleksandr Lukashenko signs Belarusian People’s Congress bill into law
The Belarusian People’s Congress bill has been signed into law by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The document aims to implement the constitutional norms on the Belarusian People's Congress, to secure its legal status as the supreme representative body of the people's power, and to determine the procedure for the formation and operation of the Belarusian People’s Congress.
The Belarusian People’s Congress delegates include the head of state, the President who has terminated his/her powers, representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, local councils of deputies, as well as civil society.
The Congress does not have the right to replace other government bodies, perform their functions, or interfere in their activities.
The competence of the Belarusian People’s Congress is defined in accordance with the Constitution, including the authority to make decisions:
- to approve the most important documents for the country (the main areas of domestic and foreign policy, the military doctrine, the national security concept, the social and economic development program);
- to submit proposals on national referendums to the President;
- to decide on the legitimacy of the elections of the President, MPs of the House of Representatives and members of the Council of the Republic;
- to remove the President from office in case of his/her gross violations of the Constitution or committing grave crimes;
- to elect judges of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, members of the Central Election Commission, and to dismiss them from office;
- to announce public holidays and memorial dates;
- to proclaim a state of emergency or martial law;
- to decide on sending military personnel outside the country to participate in activities for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The scale of the Congress' authority implies a special nature of its decisions. The Belarusian People’s Congress decisions are taken by a majority of its full composition, are binding and may repeal legal acts and other decisions of government bodies that contradict the interests of national security.
The Belarusian People’s Congress will comprise Presidium (a permanent board for prompt resolution of issues within the jurisdiction of the Congress) and Secretariat (a working body of the Congress). The Presidium will have 15 members. The chairperson of the Belarusian People’s Congress, his/her deputies, and other members of the Presidium shall be elected at the first meeting of the Belarusian People’s Congress.
The chairperson and deputies shall exercise their powers on a professional basis, other delegates shall exercise their powers on an in-service basis.
The Belarusian People’s Congress shall meet at least once a year. Its Presidium shall have meetings at least once every six months.
The implementation of the law will give a new impetus to state development. The Belarusian People’s Congress, formed on a democratic basis, will serve a stabilizing and consolidating function in society.