Ryhor Vasilevich, a former prosecutor and ex-Chairman of the Constitutional Court, has put forward the initiative to hold parliamentary sessions of the lower chamber in Belarusian and Russian on the alternate basis.
The proposal was announced during a round table meeting on the legislation in the Belarusian language on Thursday.
“If it is necessary, and it is time to enact laws in the Russian and Belarusian language – you are welcome, there are no [obstacles]. Prepare draft laws in the Russian and Belarusian languages. In my opinion, we should not swing from one side to another, i.e. switch from Russian to Belarusian, let’s use the both languages. The question is our mentality and also of the costs that may arise in connection with the preparation of laws in the both languages,” the Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva quotes Vasilevich.
If [a person] is granted [Belarusian] citizenship, there should be understanding of the both languages,” he stressed.
Vasilevich, who is now Head of the Department of Constitutional Law at the Belarusian State University, also came up with the idea to introduce a state exam in the Belarusian language for public officials, euroradio.fm reports.
Aleh Trusau, Honorary Chairman of the Belarusian Language Society, suggested that Belarusian judges should master the Belarusian language; Alyaksandr Lukashanets, Deputy Director at the Centre For Studies of Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature of the National Academy of Sciences, urged the MPs to enact legislation in two official languages.
The event was attended by 50 people – deputies, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, researchers. MP Alena Anisim, Head of the Belarusian Language Society, initiated the holding of the round table meeting.