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Opinions & Interviews

29 Jan 2020

More prominent role of Belarusian People’s Congress suggested

More prominent role of Belarusian People’s Congress suggested
Grigory Vasilevich

MINSK, 29 January (BelTA) – The Belarusian People’s Congress should play a more prominent role. The opinion was stated by Head of the Constitutional Law Department at the Belarusian State University, Doctor of Juridical Science, Professor Grigory Vasilevich during a regular meeting of the Expert Community project in BelTA’s press center on 29 January. The meeting was focused on discussing the constitutional reform in Russia.

Speaking about the changes the Russian Constitution is supposed to implement, Grigory Vasilevich drew attention to similar things in the Belarusian reality. Russia intends to stipulate the role and the status of the State Council. This is why the expert reminded that the Belarusian People’s Congress is one of the most important forms of democracy in Belarus. “Maybe we should think about a clearer status and at least a consultative role for this body. It could be more pronounced,” he believes.

The expert drew attention to the proposal to enhance the role of the Constitutional Court by giving it authority to check the constitutionality of bills upon requests of the president after the bills are passed by the parliament but before they are signed by the president into law. The expert believes it is a smarter approach in comparison with the current practice in Belarus. At present the Constitutional Court checks all the bills the head of state is expected to sign. The expert noted that the Constitutional Court could limit its work to the most important bills and the bills the head of state wants checked.

Grigory Vasilevich was one of the lawyers, who wrote and revised the text of the Belarusian Constitution. Later on he worked as the chief judge of the Constitutional Court for nearly ten years. He said he likes the amendments the Russian Federation Constitution is supposed to implement. In particular, the amendment, which suggests that the State Duma should be able to approve the candidacy of the head of government, indicates a soft transformation of the form of government and the reinforcement of the role of the parliament. Grigory Vasilevich believes Belarus should put more efforts into developing local government and self-government.

The matter of amendments to the Russian Constitution is important because Belarus and Russia are building the Union State of Belarus and Russia together and interact in various integration associations such as the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and so on. Participants of the meeting presented their views on political reforms in Russia and their possible effect on relations with Belarus.

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