Constitutional reform in Belarus: the Belarusian People’s Congress


One of the most important proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is giving constitutional status to the Belarusian People’s Congress.

According to the draft amendments, the BPC is the highest representative body of democracy in the Republic of Belarus, which determines the strategic directions of the development of the state and society, ensuring the inviolability of the constitutional system, the continuity of generations and civil concord.

The Belarusian People’s Congress approves the main directions of domestic and foreign policy, the military doctrine, and the concept of national security.

The BPC approves the programmes of socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus and considers the Prime Minister’s report on their implementation.

The functions of the BPC in the field of state building include making proposals for amendments and additions to the Constitution, holding national referendums. The BPC also has the power to consider the issue of elections’ legitimacy.

The President may be dismissed from office by the BPC in the event of a systematic or gross violation by him of the Constitution or due to the acts of state treason and any other grave crime. This constitutional body has the power to introduce a state of emergency or martial law in the territory of the Republic of Belarus if there are grounds provided for by the Constitution.

The BPC, upon the proposal of the President, elects and dismisses the Chairperson and judges of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, the Chairperson and members of the Central Election Commission.

The exclusive competence of the BPC includes making decisions to send military and civil personnel outside the Republic of Belarus to participate in ensuring collective security and maintaining international peace and security.

The meetings of the BPC are held at least once a year.

The maximum number of delegates is 1200 people.

The decisions of the BPC are binding and can cancel legal acts, other decisions of state bodies and officials that are contrary to the interests of national security, with the exception of acts of the judiciary.

The delegates to the Belarusian People's Congress are:
President of the Republic of Belarus;
former President of the Republic of Belarus;
representatives of legislative, executive and judicial authorities;
representatives of local Councils of Deputies;
representatives of civil society.

The term of office of the BPC is five years.

The Presidium is a collegial body for prompt resolution of issues within the competence of the BPC.

The Chairman of the BPC, his deputies and other members of the Presidium are elected by the members of this constitutional body by secret ballot.


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