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24 October 2022, 09:06

Bill on Belarusian People's Congress to be submitted to public debate soon

Svetlana Lyubetskaya. An archive photo
Svetlana Lyubetskaya. An archive photo

MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – The bill on the Belarusian People's Congress will soon be put out for public discussion, Chairperson of the Standing Commission on Legislation of the House of Representatives Svetlana Lyubetskaya told the STV TV channel, BelTA informs.

“The bill has already been prepared. In line with the law, all bills should be submitted for public discussion to collect feedback that may be then taken on board. At the beginning of the week the full text of this bill will be posted on the website of the National Center of Legal Information. Everyone who wants to contribute their views, participate in public discussion will be able to submit their proposals, remarks in writing or online. In addition, proposals can be sent to the website of the House of Representatives where they will be accumulated,” Svetlana Lyubetskaya said.

She drew attention to the fact that the work of the constitutional commission in Belarus is a good example of public discussion. It was a joint effort of experts and members of the public who provided their views, even without specific proposals, on this or that issue. “The bill will be finalized after the public discussion, and after that it will be submitted to the House of Representatives for consideration in the first reading in line with the law,” the MP noted.

According to her, the Belarusian People's Congress will be formed on a parity basis. It will include representatives of authorities, the judiciary, MPs, and civil society.

The powers of the Belarusian People's Congress are detailed in the bill. Its presidium will perform certain functions between sessions. “The most important thing is that it will not replace the congress itself. Decisions that should be made by a broad representation will not be delegated to a limited number of presidium members. This is specifically mentioned in the draft law,” Svetlana Lyubetskaya noted. The Belarusian People's Congress apparatus will take care of organizational matters, like arranging meetings, overseeing the execution of decisions. The Belarusian People's Congress will be headed by a chair who will be elected by the congress itself at the first meeting. The chair is to have deputies.

Speaking about other powers of the Belarusian People's Congress, Svetlana Lyubetskaya noted that the congress will take personnel decisions in the judiciary branch. “It will be granted powers to take personnel decisions regarding top-level judges. This pertains to suspension, renewal of powers, formation of the presidium of the Supreme Court,” Svetlana Lyubetskaya explained.

Work in the congress will be paid employment for the chair and his/her deputies, while members of the presidium and delegates will work on a non-paid basis.

Svetlana Lyubetskaya specified when the Belarusian People's Congress will convene in accordance with the new Constitution. “This will happen on a single voting day - the last Sunday of February 2024 - when elections to the House of Representatives (the legislature) and elections to local councils of deputies will be held. As to delegates ex officio, those will be officials who will be in office at that time. Representatives of civil society will be elected by governing bodies of respective civil society organizations. Within 60 days after the single voting day, these groups will be formed and the first meeting will be held,” she explained.

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