National and local referendums can be held in Belarus to address the most important issues of the state and the society. All citizens who are eligible to vote can take part in referendums. This makes a referendum the most important manifestation of democracy that allows the population to independently make the most important decisions influencing their lives.
- National referendums are called on the initiative of the President as well as on the proposal of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic or on the proposal of no less than 450,000 citizens eligible to vote.
The decisions adopted by a national referendum are signed by the President of the Republic of Belarus.
- Local referendums are called by the relevant councils of deputies on their initiative or on the proposal of no less than ten percent of the citizens who are eligible to vote.
The most important issues for the population of respective administrative territorial units may be submitted to a local referendum.
Citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have reached the age of 18 are eligible to participate in a referendum.
The issues that cannot be submitted to the national referendum include:
- issues which may lead to violation of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Belarus;
- issues concerning elections and dismissal of the President of the Republic of Belarus, appointment (election, dismissal) of officials whose appointment (election, dismissal) falls within the competence of the President and the chambers of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus;
- issues concerning adoption and amendment of the budget, and introducing, changing and canceling taxes (duties);
- issues concerning amnesty and pardon.