15 December 2017, Friday, 21:00

Mikhail Pastukhou: And To Ditch The Presidency

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MIKHAIL PASTUKHOU

The former Constitutional Court judge offers six recommendations on how to return Belarus to democracy.

Former judge of the Constitutional Court of Belarus Mikhail Pastukhou published a book "Under the Sign of the Constitution." This is a collection of articles that Pastukhou published in the newspaper Svobodnye Novosti during the last 4 years. The articles are supplemented by comments, in which the author takes a new look at the problems and gives advice on how to solve them, svaboda.org writes.

Here are the 6 main recommendations of lawyer Mikhail Pastukhou on what the Belarusian society needs to do to get the country back on the path of democracy and progress.

To return free and fair elections

In order to hold free and fair elections, it is necessary to ensure free exercise of all political parties. It must be done before the next local elections. They must ensure equal conditions, including equal state support. The main requirements for such elections are a new electoral law, changes to the composition of the Central Election Commission and to precinct electoral commissions, which should include representatives of all the parties. After free local elections, it is necessary to hold free parliamentary elections.

To ditch the presidency

It is necessary to return to the Constitution of 1994, and given that a lot of time has passed, it is necessary and to amend and supplement it. In particular, I believe that the post of president is undue for Belarus. This institution has failed the democracy test, it has not stood the test of time, our president is responsible for a lot of troubles and hardships.

To introduce the post of ombudsman and abolish the death penalty

The position of an ombudsman must be introduced immediately – this is an official vested with authority, whose duty is to protect human rights. Introducing the post of ombudsman will initiate the process of returning Belarus to the path of a country in which civil and political rights of people are not just declared. It is also necessary to declare a moratorium on the death penalty. This will demonstrate the whole world our humanistic choice.

To reduce the power structures

It is necessary to reduce the huge army of people in uniform, primarily those who serve in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other law enforcement agencies, including in the special services, which are numerous. This will provide an opportunity to increase people's wages and pensions.

Conduct judicial reform

It is necessary to change the composition of the courts and conduct judicial and legal reforms. Judges must not be appointed, but elected on the recommendation of the relevant judicial self-government bodies. Representatives of the parliament and local authorities should approve the choice of judges.

Join the Council of Europe

Belarus must return to the family of European nations by joining the Council of Europe, and in deed respect European values. And this is impossible without the abolition of the death penalty and real democratic reforms.

Mikhail Pastukhou will present his book "Belarus Under the Sign of the Constitution" in the Press Club in Minsk (3-601 Vera Kharuzhei Street,) on December 6, at 4 p.m.