The Venice Commission in its urgent interim opinion on the constitutional reform in Belarus said that the draft amendments which will be submitted to referendum of 27 February 2022 “fail to correct the strong imbalance of powers which already exists under the current Constitution and indeed may even aggravate it”. The Venice Commission has also criticised the lack of involvement of Parliament into the elaboration of the amendments, deficit of transparency of the drafting process and obvious absence of meaningful cooperation between the government and the opposition in exile, as well as with other stakeholders and civil society.
This interim Opinion was prepared following an urgent procedure, in a short timeframe and in the absence of meetings with the authorities which were declined, despite the attempts of the Venice Commission, or with the opposition, State institutions and civil society in Belarus. The interim opinion does not analyse in detail all changes proposed, but rather focuses on the amendment process and on the distribution of powers under the draft amendments.
Belarus: constitutional amendments put to referendum fail to correct existing strong imbalance of powers, says Venice Commission