According to Article 81º. From the bill published today, the future head of state will only be able to hold the office for two terms of five years each, a provision that already existed in the past, but was amended by Lukashenko in 2004 to keep himself in power.
This clause does not include the incumbent president, and only serves those who have been elected in new elections, Lukashenko explained last week.
Presidential candidates must be over 40 years old, have resided in the country for at least 20 years and must not be nationals of another country.
The president can only be impeached by the All-Belarus People’s Assembly, which is qualified in the document as “the most representative body”.
The bill provides for the removal of the head of state in case of gross or systematic violation of the constitution, high treason or other serious crimes.
During the council’s five-year term, which is composed of members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of civil society and the municipality, the body will be responsible for defining domestic and foreign policy, economic development strategy, and military security.
It can also declare a state of emergency or martial law, send troops abroad, propose amendments to the constitution and hold referendums, as well as assess the legitimacy of electoral processes.
The new bill also stipulates that upon leaving office, the president will not be prosecuted for any wrongdoing, guaranteeing immunity for Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994.
Lukashenko, who the opposition says was fraudulently re-elected in August 2020, is accused of ordering a violent crackdown on anti-government protests, ordering torture of detainees and signing summary sentences against politicians, activists and journalists to long prison terms.
The constitution defends the right of assembly, including the organization of demonstrations, assemblies, and strikes, as well as the right to form associations in the form of party formation, although the regime violently suppressed peaceful opposition protests that erupted after electoral fraud.
The mandate of the bicameral parliament, known as the National Assembly and composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Council of the Republic, was also extended to five years.
According to the constitution, the official languages of the state are Russian and Belarusian, the financing of foreign elections is prohibited, and the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is encouraged.
In addition to defending the peaceful resolution of conflicts and non-interference in the actions of other states, the document excludes the possibility of military aggression against another state.
In an effort to overcome the 2020 political crisis, Lukashenko agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reform the constitution.
However, the opposition fears that Lukashenko will amend the constitution to remain in power, either as head of state or as head of the Belarusian People’s Assembly.
The opposition in exile is demanding new elections without Lukashenko’s participation, the release of all detainees, and the prosecution of those responsible for the violent suppression of the protests.
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”