Acting on a request from Supreme Soviet chairman Mechislau Hrib and other deputies, the Belarus Constitutional Court has ruled that president Aleksandr Lukashenko’s changes to the country´s budget by decree are unconstitutional. The presidential decree had unilaterally revised the budget´s revenues and expenditures and imposed certain excise and income taxes. Meanwhile the Constitutional Court is considering challenges to other presidential decrees by Hrib and the legislature, but also a challenge to the Supreme Soviet´s legitimacy by the president´s men. Hrib, who had called for Lukashenko’s impeachment for abuse of presidential powera in the budget and other decrees, commented that the upcoming legislative elections should leave any move to impeach up to the new Supreme Soviet. (12)
The legislative elections held in May 1995 filled only 119 of the chamber´s 260 seats owing to an insufficient turnout in most constituencies. Deputies from the old Supreme Soviet retained their seats until supplementary elections scheduled for November 19. The Supreme Soviet has lowered the required minimum turnout from 50 percent to 25 percent. Lukashenka has called on the public to ignore the Supreme Soviet and the elections.
Belarus Now Set to Resume Conventional Arms Scrapping.