MINSK, 2 September (BelTA) - Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova hosted a meeting on 2 September to discuss the draft laws “On Civil Society” and “On Amendments to the Laws on the Activities of Political Parties and Other Public Associations”, BelTA learned from the press service of the upper house of parliament.
The meeting was attended by members of the Council of the Republic, MPs of the House of Representatives, heads of government bodies and public associations.
The speaker opened the meeting by pointing out that the corresponding draft laws were considered at the meetings of the Expert Council under the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus of the seventh convocation, and then at the government meeting hosted by the president.
“Aleksandr Grigoriyevich [Lukashenko] drew attention to the fact that we must once again discuss these innovations, which are proposed to be enshrined in these bills. It is also advisable to submit these drafts for public discussion. If there are suggestions, the Belarus President Administration will accumulate them. Then we will clearly understand whether our actions in adopting these laws are correct,” the speaker of the Council of the Republic said.
The participants believe that the adoption of the bill on civil society will contribute towards raising the level of civic responsibility and legal awareness, engaging citizens in solving the most important socio-political and socio-economic tasks, and forging skills in carrying out constructive socio-political activities to protect and promote national interests. The participants had a constructive discussion of the main amendments to the bill concerning political parties and other public associations.
“Today we once again returned to the consideration of these bills,” Chairman of the Belaya Rus non-government organization Oleg Romanov noted. "The meeting presided by the president approved the conceptual foundations of these bills. Yet some minor issues have remained. It is important for us to decide on the age limit of the founders of political parties, the quantitative composition. The degree of their influence in Belarusian society and the degree of their political activity will depend on these things," he said.
A number of other issues were considered, Oleg Romanov noted. “We want the high-quality bill, so that when it submitted for the first reading the members of the House of Representatives could discuss it further and make their own adjustments and adopt it."
Following the meeting, it was proposed to submit these documents once again for consideration of the expert council.