MINSK, 28 September (BelTA) – The Constitutional Commission suggests amending 53 articles of Belarus' Constitution, adding 14 new articles, and scrapping three articles. Chairman of the Constitutional Court Piotr Miklashevich made the statement during an expanded session of the Constitutional Commission involving Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 28 September, BelTA has learned.
The head of the commission told those present about the essence of the suggested changes. In particular, there are plans to preserve the presidential form of government, adjust functions and authority of the president, the parliament, and the government. The Belarusian People's Congress will be granted a constitutional status as the supreme representative body of government by the people.
According to Piotr Miklashevich, the Constitutional Commission has held 11 sessions. Proposals to amend the Constitution were worked out upon proposals of citizens and members of the commission. “Proposals on amending provisions of the Constitution were polished later on taking into account remarks by members of the Constitutional Commission. Thus, the Constitutional Commission suggests amending 53 articles of the Constitution, adding 14 new articles, and scrapping three articles,” the head of the Constitutional Court said.
Piotr Miklashevich added: “We believe that the proposals the Constitutional Commission has worked out on amending the Constitution may represent the foundation for further improvement of the society and the state, for enhancing the constitutional foundation of Belarus' development as a democratic social and law-bound state.”
In his words, the Constitutional Commission has yet to work out common approaches to three main blocks.
The composition and the procedure for forming the Belarusian People's Congress represent the first block. Most of the members of the Constitutional Commission believe that the Belarusian People's Congress has to include the president, members of the lower chamber and the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament, members of oblast councils of deputies and the Minsk City Council of Deputies. A retired president has to have a lifetime membership in the Belarusian People's Congress. A total of 585 members.
No common approaches have been worked out towards the election of other delegates of the Belarusian People's Congress.
The Constitutional Commission has yet to come to an agreement on the use of capital punishment. The Constitutional Commission believes it is inadvisable to amend article 24 for now because doing so will require a special referendum. “At the same time some members of the Constitutional Commission suggest abolishing capital punishment and changing the procedure for executing capital punishment,” Piotr Miklashevich said.
Amendments to article 64 regarding the right of worker collectives to nominate candidates for people's deputies represent another unresolved issue. The Constitutional Commission believes it is advisable to preserve this constitutional provision. However, some members of the commission would like to see it scrapped.
“These matters require additional comprehensive discussion today,” Piotr Miklashevich said.