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All-Belarusian People’s Assembly to be granted power to impeach presidents, says official

According to the plan, the Assembly will have the power to review the legitimacy of presidential elections

MINSK, May 28. /TASS/. The All-Belarusian People’s Assembly (ABPA) may be granted the authority to impeach a president in the event of treason or a grievous crime, Constitutional Commission and Constitutional Court head Pyotr Miklashevich said Friday.

"It has been proposed that the right to impeach - that is, to unseat a president of the Republic of Belarus - be reassigned from the parliament to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly. A president may be removed from office due to treason or another grievous crime," Miklashevich told the Commission.

He also disclosed that, according to the plan, the Assembly will have the power to review the legitimacy of presidential elections.

"The ABPA, being the highest representative body of popular sovereignty and the state, should be empowered to review the legitimacy of elections of a president of the Republic of Belarus," Miklashevich stated.

This way, the Assembly could "act as a guarantor of an objective assessment of the will of the people during presidential elections".

"Therefore, the final political and constitutional assessment of elections will be expressed by the special subject of political and legal relations - the supreme body of popular sovereignty, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly," Miklashevich declared.

Background on this issue

Following the protests in Belarus that broke out after the August 9, 2020 presidential election, President Alexander Lukashenko reiterated the need to amend the constitution and stated his willingness to redistribute some of the presidential powers to the other branches of government. According to the head of state, the draft Constitution will be prepared before the end of this year, and will be presented for nationwide discussion in early 2022. On March 16, Lukashenko signed a decree to establish the Constitutional Commission consisting of 36 people, headed by Miklashevich. The Commission must present its proposals on the constitutional amendments to the president before August 1, so that they could be put up for a nationwide referendum later.

The Constitutional Commission convenes twice a month. During one meeting, Miklashevich said that Belarus will not change the presidential form of governance, but did not rule out the redistribution of power between various branches of government.