Key Points of the People’s Program “Free Belarus”
Details of the program were presented to the participants of the Warsaw House of Journalists. The meeting coincided with the birthday of the leader of the Conservative Christian Party BPF Zyanon Pazniak. It was he who created the program together with his colleagues.
“This is a program for the entire nation. Sooner or later, this political regime will collapse. It is necessary that people know what to do. It is impossible to have a situation when the authority is lying around, and he who gets to it first, picks it up,” said Zyanon Pazniak.
The main change is a thorough reform of the political model.
Introduction of changes would mean the end of the presidency with unlimited powers.
The President has the legislative initiative, but does not issue any legislative acts; he can make appeals and statements, to make declarations and memorandums. The only legal document that the president can issue is the decision to dissolve parliament.
The legislative role, as it was before, is assumed by the Parliament.
It is the Parliament that the executive power — the government — is to report to. Belarus, according to the new project, should become a parliamentary-presidential country.
“One of the main goals is to provide a guarantee of democracy, to provide a system that would under no circumstances lead to dictatorship. We have taken into account what our nation has experienced over the last 22 years,” explains Zyanon Pazniak.
Sixteen provinces instead of 6 regions.
Replacement of the outdated command and administrative system is to contribute to reforms in the field of self-government, as well as lead to a new territorial division. Authors of the project propose to create sixteen provinces instead of the six existing regions, a separate administrative unit of Minsk, as well as around 60 districts and 270 rayons. Local authorities, according to the program, have a broad mandate.
Local government solves two main tasks.
It provides political decentralization, which reduces the possibility of the central government to dictate and intervene in local-level issues; it creates opportunities for more efficient and rapid solution of urgent problems of local importance.
According to authors of the program, the economic model also needs to be changed.
Among the priorities is leaving the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, the reform of the banking system, the replacement of the national currency of the ruble with a thaler, privatization of enterprises, incentives for economic entities. The key issue is still the economic independence from Russia.
“Clipping us from the artificial links with the low technology country, shift to high-tech countries, the construction of new high-tech enterprises is a way out for us,” says Yuri Belenki, a co-author of the program.
Some foreign policy issues should remain open.
The program’s authors believe it is impossible yet to join NATO structures. Rapid friendship with the EU is also doubtful. The program creators admit that it is necessary to look for new forms of international cooperation.
“We must soon transform political, economic, security areas to ensure the integrity of the state, to limit the possible aggression from Russia. Of course, without the support of the European Union and NATO, Belarus will not rise to confront Russia,” says Pavel Usau, co-author of the program.
The search for the response will continue at the debate similar to the one in Warsaw.
The fact that changes in Belarus will be coming soon is more and more obvious. The future of our country mostly depends on an effective plan and professionals who will take up its implementation. It is also understood that without fundamental reform of the political system in the first place we should not expect any good changes.
Ian Babitski, “Belsat”