Election official: Referendum on changes to Belarus Constitution to be held in January-February

A referendum on amending the Constitution of Belarus might take place in January-February 2022, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports with reference to Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission (CEC). The draft update of the Constitution has not been published yet.

Ms Yarmoshyna also suggested that January, 16 be an alleged date of staging the high-profile political event; according to her, it would not overlap with the upcoming election to the local councils. The option of holding the referendum in late summer or early autumn was not considered, she added.

It is still unknown what amendments the Belarusian authorities are going to make to the Constitution. On March 16, Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a decree establishing a Constitutional Commission; the body is expected to submit its proposals to him by August 1. In February, he announced ‘the radical redistribution of powers’, stressing that the presidential form of government would be preserved. Last week, Lukashenka made mention of would-be transferring presidential powers to the Security Council ‘if there was such a need in the country’. It should be noted that such step would contravene the present-day Constitution of Belarus.

As reported earlier, critics of the Lukashenka regime are developing another version of the Constitution; a group of lawyers, historians and public activists began its work as far back as 2019. Under the leadership of politician Anatol Lyabedzka and in cooperation with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskayas office, the team published a draft on the Internet so that anyone who would like to could take part in the public discussion.

Lukashenka to sign decree on transition of presidential powers