President sets parliamentary elections for early November
The parliamentary elections will be held on November 7, Aliaksandr Lukashenka said today when addressing Parliament with an annual speech.
He also said that the presidential election is scheduled for late 2020.
The decisions have not been formalized yet.
Uladzimir Labkovich, coordinator of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections,” believes that the appointment of the parliamentary polls for November 2019 contradicts the country’s Constitution.
“The people of the Republic of Belarus, as the main legislator, gave authority to members of the current Parliament for four years. This is spelled out in Article 93 of the Constitution. The previous parliamentary elections were held in September 2016. Therefore, it is clear that the next elections of the House of Representatives should be held no later than in September 2020.
In order to hold the elections one year before the expiry of the parliamentary term, the authorities should refer to an exhaustive list of circumstances, which does not include President Lukashenka’s personal wish,” Labkovich said.
Uladzimir Labkovich stresses that it is difficult to judge the political reasons for this decision, as the system of power is completely closed:
“In general, I do not see any valid reasons for holding elections in 2019, as the legislation provides for specific terms, and the two elections could be held in 2020.”
Aliaksandr Lukashenka was first elected in 1994. He has ruled the country for almost 25 years.