Belarus and the International Community United States Policy European Union Policy The United Nations Human Rights Committee The Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Russian Federation Policy 6 CCPR/D/84/Add.4, September 3, 1996.
7 President Lukashenka's scorn for parliament was evident in 1995, when he openly urged Belarusian voters not to vote during the 1995 parliamentary elections, as a turnout of less than 50 percent would have given him legitimate grounds to disband the parliament and rule alone.
8 See Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Presidential Powers and Human Rights under the Draft Constitution of Belarus (New York: American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI), October 1996), and Analysis of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Belarus with Alterations and Amendments, October 15, 1995, Washington.
9 The Council of Europe and the OSCE also do not recognize the results of the referendum. The most notable exception is Russia, whose parliament and government does.
10 Any draft legislation that requires state expenditures can be discussed by parliament only with his consent. Further, in circumstances of "specific urgency and necessity," the president can issue decrees that have the force of law without a parliamentary decision to delegate such powers. President Lukashenka has already done so on numerous occasions, demonstrating a loose interpretation of "specific urgency and necessity." In addition, the constitution provides for only brief parliamentary sessions, a feature likely to cause the legislature to delegate further power to the president.
11 "Message from the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus on the State of Constitutional Legality in the Republic of Belarus in 1995," Minsk, 1996, p. 45.
12 Six of the twelve judges, including the chairperson, are appointed directly by the president; the other half are appointed by the Senate (the president, in turn, appoints one-eighth of the Senate's members). In addition, the number of institutions that can appeal to the court is restricted significantly and the right to initiate a case has been taken away from the court. Immediately after the November referendum, five judges, including the chairperson, Valery Tikhinya, resigned in protest. Judge Mikhail Pastukhov, who refused to resign, was later dismissed by a presidential decree that stated as the reason for his dismissal: "expiry of the term in office as judge of the Constitutional Court." Pastukhov, however, was elected to the court in 1994 for a period of eleven years.
13 OMRI, March 5, 1997.
14 Interfax (Moscow), cited in WNC, April 15, 1997.
15 Article 84 (10) of the amended Constitution reads, "The President of the Republic of Belarus:...Appoints six judges of the Constitutional Court and other judges of the Republic of Belarus.
16 On February 11, 1998, the Minsk region economic court reduced the fine against the Belarusian Soros Foundation to U.S.$80,000 but upheld the confiscation of the organization's office equipment and property. As of this writing, the Belarusian Soros Foundation remains closed.
17 The BDSP had between 7 and 8 percent representation in the Thirteenth Supreme Soviet, the UCP, about 10 percent.
18 From "Introduction to the BPF," at
19 Quoted from the BPF's Fifth Congress, June 20-21, 1997. Also at
20 Ibid. Although Belarusian officially enjoys equal status as a language with Russian, it is rarely, if ever, used by government officials.
21 Ibid.
22 Its predecessor, the Molodezhnaya Fraktsiya of the BPR, was formed in 1995.
23 Belapan news agency, Minsk, cited in WNC, September 25, 1997.
24 Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Belarus, CCPR/C/79/Add.86, November 19, 1997.
25 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, vol 2, no. 41, Part II, March 2, 1998.
26 Interfax news agency, Moscow, cited in WNC, March 5, 1998.
27 In September 1997 Belarus was reinstated in the IPU, an international union of parliamentarians that ostensibly requires members to respect democracy and human rights, following its suspension from the organization in April 1997 for establishing the National Assembly "through a process whose legality is questioned."
28 Belapan news agency, Minsk, September 17, 1997.

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