On 2 October 2020, at the opening of a regular session, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus declared the need to change the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. Five days later, the House of Representatives launched a campaign for submission of suggestions regarding amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. The campaign will last until 25 October, 2020.
By creating an illusion of a constitutional reform, the current administration is trying to divert the attention from overcoming the political crisis and buy some time, distracting the Belarusians’ mind from the election rigging and the subsequent unprecedented violence.
The Coordination Council believes that the announced initiatives on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus are premature and do not contribute to overcoming the political crisis the country is facing; a constitutional reform in the Republic of Belarus will only be possible after the rule of law is rebuilt and the people’s trust in the public authorities is restored; a referendum controlled by the President whose legitimacy is not recognized by the majority of countries in the world and a referendum vote count conducted by the electoral commissions which have discredited themselves make any results of such a referendum illegitimate.
The only way out of the crisis is to start negotiations on fulfilling the demands of the Belarusian people:
- The authorities must stop the political persecution of citizens of the Republic of Belarus, criminal investigations must be opened, those responsible must be brought to justice.
- All political prisoners must be released, unjust court judgements must be annulled, all victims must receive compensations.
- The election of 9 August, 2020 must be declared null and void; the new election must be held in line with the international standards and with the participation of newly gathered electoral commissions at all levels, including the Central Electoral Commission.
Fulfillment of these requirements is possible in accordance with the current Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.
The Coordination Council thinks that any amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus must ensure compliance with the basic principles:
- alternation of power, including limiting the President’s period of office to two consecutive terms; separation of legislative, executive and judicial branches; free and democratic elections; sanctity of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Belarus.
The Coordination Council calls on all the Belarusians to express their opinion on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and its timeliness!