On Sunday, Feb. 27, the government of the Republic of Belarus will be holding a nationwide constitutional referendum. Voters will be asked to respond to a single “Yes” or “No” vote to the question “Do you accept the amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus?”
The referendum will formalize several proposed changes to the Constitution. First, the changes would reintroduce presidential term limits of two five-year terms, although allowing the current president to stand in these elections. Second, the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, an unelected body of representatives appointed by the ruling government, would gain the power to impeach a future president, appoint court judges and appoint Central Election Commission members. If passed, this group (likely chaired by the president), would eclipse Parliament as the country’s most powerful representative body. These constitutional changes could thus represent a further consolidation of power by President Lukashenka.
To help you understand this important electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Belarus Constitutional Referendum 2022. IFES FAQs include:
- Why is this referendum important?
- What is the legal framework for conducting this referendum?
- Who is responsible for managing the referendum process?
- How is the election management body protecting the elections and voters from COVID-19?
The election is scheduled to take place while war is raging in Ukraine, which shares a border with Belarus. The unprovoked escalation of war on Ukraine is being staged in part from Belarus by the Russian Federation. Please read IFES President and CEO Anthony Banbury’s Statement of Support for Ukraine.
Learn more about IFES’ programs in Belarus and follow @IFES_Europe on Twitter.
Additionally, follow IFES’ COVID-19 Survival Guide for Democracies and #COVIDxDemocracy for new analysis and innovative solutions.
Published on February 24, 2022.