The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko assented on Wednesday to complete amendments to the law “On the President of the Republic of Belarus,” which tightened the necessities for a presidential candidate inside the nation.
Beneath the amended legislation, solely an individual aged 40 years or older, who’s a citizen of the Republic of Belarus by beginning with the suitable to vote, is eligible to face for presidential elections. As well as, the candidate must be a everlasting resident of the state for no less than 20 years earlier than the election and mustn’t have (or had) citizenship, residence allow or any doc granting them advantages of a overseas state. This makes it unimaginable for the political leaders who’ve fled the nation to run for the presidential elections.
The textual content of the amended legislation additionally dictated the standing of the previous presidents of the nation, stating that “a president who has ceased to train his powers can’t be held accountable for actions dedicated in reference to the train of his presidential powers.” This offers Belarusian presidents lifelong immunity from prosecution and ensures that “his honor and dignity are protected by legislation.”
The amended legislation additionally detailed the powers of the president. In keeping with it, the president possesses the competence to submit proposals to “the All-Belarusian Folks’s Meeting on the election of chairmen, their deputies and judges of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, the Chairman and members of the Central Election Fee” and the prospect of sending army personnel outdoors the state to foster “worldwide peace and safety.”
In December 2023, upon the meeting’s adoption of the amendments, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a Belarusian political chief who fled the nation in 2020, condemned the legislation. She said:
With the brand new legislation, Lukashenka goals to protect himself from authorized prosecution as a result of he already fears an inevitable future. In any case, the actions he has taken within the final 30 years are punishable not simply by a tremendous. Proof of his crimes is sufficient for a jail sentence lasting many years.
In August 2020, Lukashenko received his sixth time period as president in a landslide victory. The nation witnessed mass protests as individuals claimed election fraud. The EU rejected the outcomes of the election and imposed sanctions towards “people accountable for violence, repression and the falsification of election outcome.” There have been alleged violations of human rights all through the electoral course of, and the protesters and political dissidents confronted huge repercussions from the Belarusian authorities.
Beneath the 30-year reign of Lukashenko, the liberty of expression inside Belarus stays severely restricted within the nation as a number of web sites, new retailers and Telegram teams have been blocked and reported as “extremist.” As per the US Embassy in Belarus, Belarus holds over 1,500 political prisoners “for exercising their human rights and elementary freedoms in pursuit of Belarusian democracy for protesting, a fraudulent election, or for opposing Russia’s warfare towards Ukraine.” In July 2023, the UN expressed its concern in regards to the nation and mentioned that the human rights situations have been deteriorating “steadily” since 2020.